ATP Tour

Nadal will struggle to match 2017 feats, says coach

Rafael Nadal (AP)
Rafael Nadal (AP)

Cape Town - Rafael Nadal's longtime coach and uncle admits that it will be very hard for his nephew to reach the same heights of 2017 next year.

Nadal returned with a bang in 2017, capturing both the French and US Open titles as he returned to the top of the world rankings.

While Carlos Moya and Francisco Roig now serve as the Spaniard's main coaches, Toni Nadal still keeps a close eye on his nephew's progress while working at their academy in Mallorca.

Toni feels that with so many top players expected to return from injury next year, it will be much harder for Nadal to dominate as much as he did in 2017.

"This year has been it happens that Djokovic has not been at his best and Murray either," he told Spanish newspaper ABC.

"And (Stan) Wawrinka, (Kei) Nishikori and (Milos) Raonic have also had problems.

"Next year it will be difficult to win many titles, although I hope Rafael continues to prove he is the best on the clay and win again Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Roland Garros."

Nadal shared the spotlight with a resurgent Roger Federer in 2017, and while the Swiss great also picked up two Grand Slam titles of his own to remain three clear of Nadal, Toni expects his nephew to eventually surpass Federer's record.

"I trust that Rafa will last long enough to beat Federer's record," he added.

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