Rafael Nadal's coach and uncle Toni Nadal has revealed that 2017 will be his last year on tour with the Spaniard and cited the involvement of his agent Carlos Costa and Rafael's father in decision-making as factors that forced him to opt out.
Toni has been coaching his nephew from a very young age that has seen the latter evolve into one of the greatest tennis players of all time, having won 14 Grand Slams in his career. He came close to adding one more to the tally, only to suffer defeat at the hands of Roger Federer in the 2017 Australian Open final in January.
Carlos Moya was added to Rafael's backroom staff late in 2016 and Toni says no decision has been taken on his successor. He said he will focus on their academy in order to produce and develop young talents.
"By next year I won´t follow Rafael on the tour anymore, but I will work only in our academy. I want to take care of the formation of young talents, which is the most important moment in a tennis player´s growth," Toni told Italian publication Il Tennis Italiano.
"The relationship with my nephew has always been good, over all these years we never had any to argue about. But until he was 17 I decided everything, then the agent Carlos Costa came, his father got closer and everybody had his own opinion.
"And the truth is that every year I decide even less, until the point that I won´t decide anything anymore! I travelled with Rafa for many years, now I want to deal with the training of the young people and our academy is the ideal place."
Toni created history when he became the first coach to win 12 Grand Slam titles in 2013 and has further strengthened that position after adding two Grand Slam titles to the tally.