Rafael Nadal’s coach defends role during matches

Toni Nadal says it is natural for coaches to encourage from sidelines, despite rules

Rafa Nadal trains with coach Toni Nadal during the Aegon Tennis Championships at the Queens Club in London, Britain, 15th June 2015. Photograph: EPA/Andy Rain

Rafa Nadal trains with coach Toni Nadal during the Aegon Tennis Championships at the Queens Club in London, Britain, 15th June 2015. Photograph: EPA/Andy Rain

 

Toni Nadal, the coach and uncle of Rafael Nadal, believes it is impossible for a coach not to encourage and communicate generally with a player during a match.

The issue of coaching from the sidelines has been a controversial one at SW19 this year with the Wimbledon champion, Novak Djokovic, fielding numerous questions regarding a controversial debate that has escalated following an interview given by his coach, Boris Becker.

Becker stated that Djokovic’s team sometimes provide verbal assistance to the Serb during matches. Section VIII (i) of the ATP’s rulebook states: “Players shall not receive coaching during a tournament match. Communications of any kind, audible or visible, between a player and a coach may be construed as coaching.”

Nadal, who has coached his nephew to 14 Grand Slam titles, does not expect the rules to change because the tennis authorities rarely modernise the regulations. The 54-year-old also said it is natural for coaches to encourage on the sidelines.

“You pay a coach to watch the game. It’s unbelievable that all the other people (in the stadium) can say what they want and the coach can say nothing. It’s unbelievable. You pay a coach to go all the way to Australia, then all the crowd can say what they want and the coach has to sit four hours silent.”

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