Rafael Nadal's uncle and former coach Toni Nadal has revealed that the 2009 loss to Robin Soderling and the Australian Open defeat to Novak Djokovic in 2012 are the two low points in his association with his nephew since the two have been together.
Toni bid farewell to his association with his nephew as a coach last year in what was one of the most fulfilling years in the Spaniard's glorious tennis career. Nadal ended the year with seven titles to his name, including two Grand Slams – the French Open and the US Open.
The Spaniard saw off the challenge from his long-time rival Roger Federer to seal the year-end number one ranking in the penultimate event of the season – the Paris Masters – the fourth time he has achieved the feat in his glorious career. He is now being helped by Carlos Moya after his disagreement with Canadian Milos Raonic.
Rafael and Toni have won everything there is to win – 16 Grand Slams, 30 Masters Series titles and two Olympic gold medals in the singles and doubles events – making it a career Golden Slam. Rafa is only the second men's singles player to do it – with Andre Agassi being the other.
However, despite the impressive record, Toni has regrets about two games which otherwise would have added to their glorious time together. First being Nadal's fourth-round loss to Soderling in the French Open in 2009, where he succumbed in four sets. Soderling eventually went on to reach the finals, where he lost to Federer.
His second biggest disappointment was Rafa's loss to Djokovic in the finals of the Australian Open in 2012 where both players played out a five-set thriller lasting over five and a half hours.
"We've had quite a few hard moments. What happens is that I always knew that adversity is part of life and I sensed that we would have difficulties, but I never made a drama neither of the difficulties nor of the defeats. There are defeats that hurt a lot. The most painful for me was against Djokovic in Australia'2012, also that of Soderling in Roland Garros'2009 ", Toni tells Mundo Deportivo.
"And there are the injuries, when we did not know if we would continue or not. In 2005, our sensation was: 'What do we do? Can we continue or not? ' It's a complicated moment, but in the end one gets used to it and the subsequent injuries that prevented him from being a standard-bearer and playing in London'12, when he was playing very well, in the end you get used to it and become part of life, "he added.