Toni Nadal, Joan Nadal, and Rafael Nadal
World No. 6 Rafael Nadal recently decided to have some fun with his cousins Toni Nadal Vives and Joan Nadal Vives on Instagram. After Toni and Joan were spotted wearing pink shirts similar to that worn by the 20-time Grand Slam champion during training, the Spaniard joked that they had emptied out his storage room.
“The clothes? I imagine that my storage room is already empty…” commented Nadal on a recent picture posted by the Rafa Nadal Academy.
Interestingly, Toni and Joan secured their first ITF victories earlier this month, at the age of 17 and 16 respectively. In comparison, Rafael Nadal was just 15 when he won his first match on the ATP tour, defeating Ramon Delgado at the Mallorca Open in 2002.
According to reports, both Toni and Joan were coached by their father Toni Nadal, who was instrumental in shaping Rafael Nadal into a 20-time Slam champion.
Rafael and Toni had one of the most successful player-coach pairs in the history of the ATP tour, winning 16 Grand Slams and 30 Masters 1000 titles together. The two parted ways at the end of the 2017 season.
Toni is currently a member of the Felix-Auger Aliassime‘s coaching staff.
Rafael Nadal lifted his 89th ATP title at the Melbourne Summer Set
Rafael Nadal with the Melbourne Summer Set 2021 title
Rafael Nadal lifted his 89th title on the ATP tour after defeating Maxime Cressy in the final of the Melbourne Summer Set last week. The Spaniard did not drop a set all week, making it the 29th tournament he has won in such a fashion, matching a historic record owned by Jimmy Connors.
After lifting the trophy, Nadal said he was “very happy” to kick off his 2022 season in style, particularly considering his struggles at the fag end of last season.
“Very happy to start the season with a title … and from where we are coming, it’s very special…If we put everything together and analyze all the things that I went through the last five months, including the Covid after Abu Dhabi, of course I am happy,” said Nadal.Rafael Nadal during a practice session ahead of the Australian Open 2022
Nadal will now shift his focus to the 2022 Australian Open. The Spaniard was recently spotted hitting with World No. 3 Alexander Zverev in Melbourne. Interestingly, the two are projected to meet in the quarter-finals of the Grand Slam.
The Spaniard will begin his Australian Open campaign against Marcos Giron.