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By Alberto Amalfi | Wednesday, September 13, 2017

 
Carlos Moya, Rafael Nadal

"We are talking about one of the greatest players in history and, as such, my faith in him is rock solid," says coach Carlos Moya of Rafael Nadal.

Photo credit: RafaelNadalFans.com

Capturing his 16th Grand Slam championship at the US Open was the end of one era and the start of a new one for Rafael Nadal.

The world No. 1 won his third US Open crown and likely his final major with his uncle and original coach, Toni Nadal, traveling full-time.

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Toni Nadal is scheduled to focus on his work at the Rafa Nadal Academy in Mallorca next season, though the 10-time Roland Garros champion does not rule out a possible return of his uncle.

“Toni, I think he gonna stop and gonna put more attention on the academy,” Rafael Nadal said after his victory over Kevin Anderson in the US Open final. “That would be great for my academy, and will be great for the kids.

“That doesn't mean that Toni will not travel anymore never. No, no, I believe that will be stupid to say that. But of course he will not be in the diary of my practices and of my travels. I have two coaches already after him, that is Carlos and Francis (Roig) and let's see if I need something else to helps, but I think in my academy, I have enough people to help, and I happy with the team that I have.”

Former world No. 1 Carlos Moya, who joined uncle Toni and Roig on Nadal’s coaching team, believes if the 31-year-old Spaniard stays healthy he will be a major contender for years to come.

"If he can stay as healthy as he is now, without injury, motivated, looking after himself the way he is, we will be talking about Rafa for years to come," Moya told the ATP Tour World Tour.com "He is a player who broke records as a teenager and who is now breaking them as a veteran as well. This is something we haven't see much in the history of tennis.

"When I joined the team I knew that there was much more to come for Rafa, that if he stayed injury free and continued training with the same motivation, desire and confidence, that the tennis would come."

A wrist injury forced Nadal to pull out of the 2016 Roland Garros and eventually cut his season short.

The reigning Roland Garros champion believes he would have likely won the 2016 French Open crown if not for his wrist injury.

“I tell you what happened last year. I was ready to win Roland Garros last year. That's the real thing,” Nadal said. “I don't say if I don't get injury, I will win Roland Garros, because is something that is impossible to predict, but I really and honestly can tell you that I felt myself ready to win Roland Garros, because I was playing well. But of course when you get injury, then seems like the season is a disaster.

“But the real disaster of last year was the injuries. Because the level of tennis, when I was playing after Indian Wells, was good in almost all the events, no? Of course is something difficult to imagine eight months ago or nine months ago that we will be winning two Grand Slams each.”




Former French Open champion Moya says Nadal’s commitment to constant improvement is a key to his success.

"He always gives the best of himself,” Moya said. “We are talking about one of the greatest players in history and, as such, my faith in him is rock solid."

Nadal says his passion for the game empowers him with purpose.

“I think I did the right work,” Nadal said. “I believed on the work, on the diary work all the time. I still believe on these things to improve, and I wake up every morning with the passion to go on court and to try to improve things. Probably that's why I still have chances to compete in this sport and to do it well. That's all.”

 

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