Toni Nadal has given away the key to beating his nephew Rafael.
Playing a quick style of tennis like Roger Federer is a good way to beat Rafael Nadal.
That is according to Nadal’s uncle and former coach Toni.
Nadal and Federer have enjoyed a historic rivalry having played 40 matches against each other over the years.
Nadal leads the head-to-head 24-16 but Federer won their last meeting at Wimbledon in July.
Toni was by Rafael’s side for the majority of those wins, especially on clay courts.
Speaking at a conference at the Valencia Job Fair, Toni was asked what advice he would give a player if they come up against Rafael and while he said Federer and Novak Djokovic were better placed to give an answer, he reckoned emulating the Swiss would be the way to go.
“It would be complicated because he is a guy who always looks for solutions,” he said.
“If anything, I would tell him to play as Federer, who does everything very fast, although it is very difficult to play like that.”
Of more pressing concern to Nadal is recovering from an abdominal strain in order to be fit for the ATP Finals.
He sustained the injury at the Paris Masters and is battling to be able to play at the season-ending tournament, which starts on Sunday.
Nadal’s first match is scheduled for Monday night against Alexander Zverev, giving him an extra 24 hours to get ready.
And Toni hailed the 19-time Grand Slam champion’s ability to overcome adversity.
“Rafael finds motivation in his fighting spirit, it is not so much to win,” he declared.
“Sometimes he has a small downturn when the pains are incessant but he is almost always motivated.
“He [has]learned to play with difficulty, always looking for personal satisfaction over the victories.”