Toni Nadal’s Witty Comment Draws Attention from Serbian Media and Djokovic Fans

EFE/Alejandro García

Rafael Nadal’s uncle and former coach, Toni, recently commented on the ideal scenario for the Spaniard’s successful comeback, involving Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic.

“He wants to play in the Australian Open, and I think he is [going good] because I have seen, these last days, him practicing. He has practiced much better,” uncle Toni said during his conversation with Edwin Weindorfer for the Majorca Daily Bulletin.

“Now, what we need is, we need an injury – of Carlos Alcaraz, of Novak Djokovic and maybe, Daniil Medvedev. We need that many… a lot of problems and then Rafa can play really good.”

These comments grabbed headlines in the Serbian media, even though it was just a lighthearted joke about those injuries.

Uncle Toni had more insightful thoughts, but the Serbian media chose not to translate them. To discover why he holds mental health coaches responsible for exacerbating issues in tennis, read on.

The teams behind the players have become so large, with many stats, analysts, nutritionists, and mental health coaches. It is the latter, mental health coaches, that I believe are the cause of many young players becoming frustrated and unable to handle defeat and pressure. Rafa never had a mental health coach, let alone a nutritionist. I’m not his mother; I don’t know what he ate, eats, or how much he weighs.

It used to be just Rafa and me. Some days, I would play with him using old balls, take him to poor quality courts to train, and forget to bring water so he could build mental strength and get used to accepting defeat and making mistakes. I used to point out his mistakes to him.

Today, there’s too much information, and it’s confusing. It’s all about positive criticism, which doesn’t always work. On the contrary, it leads to greater frustration for players when they lose. It’s a matter of dusting yourself off, training more, working harder, constantly improving your game, and moving on to the next tournament. That’s what I always instilled in Rafa, and that’s why he’s so mentally strong. There will be very few players ever as good as Federer, for example; he played a perfect game, but Rafa beat him.

“It’s about hitting the ball as hard as you can, as if your life depends on every shot. It’s a championship ball, getting the ball in, moving around the court, adjusting the ball’s movement, and not allowing the other player to beat you.



  1. I visited __________________( c ‘ ‘ y a ho O… co m )… for a love spell and he truly helped me! he was able to get her to miss me she wanted us to get back together again. She had lot of regrets and felt bad for not fighting to keep me and for cheating in generally. she cherish our relationship so much more now and we are together now! Thanks

  2. I was angry and decided not to be upset about it and just keep it moving. Then after about few months of no contact with her I became sad. I wanted her to tell me she wanted to be with me and not her old friend. I visited __________________( c ‘ ‘ y a ho O… co m )… for a love spell and he truly helped me! he was able to get her to miss me she wanted us to get back together again. She had lot of regrets and felt bad for not fighting to keep me and for cheating in generally. she cherish our relationship so much more now and we are together now! Thanks 🙂🙂🙂🙂

  3. There’s too much time and energy being spent talking about Djokovic in this chat. My focus is on Rafa and I’m praying for positive results for him in 2024

    • The topic is about Dopeovic (thanks for that Lillian). You’re right though. I can only speak for myself but I’m not mentioning him again, on this Serb press topic. It’s draining. I should really concentrate on Rafa-Love and that’s it.

      • What else is new, Serbian media has podcasts that discuss how Rafa takes drugs. He won’t ever have kids. That’s what they were discussing after Novak got his behind handed to him after RG 22, quarters. It’s a national obsession.

      • Honestly never knew the Serbian media were so cut throat. It’s one thing being patriotic but all that hate coming from Serbian press. That’s just wrong on so many levels.

        I never mentioned the D word:)

      • They have been at it for years, mocking Rafa. They have berated. belittled him on a national level. One time Novak and Tipsarevic staged a hostage photo where Tipsarevic had Novak at gun point and photo had a caption saying “what $ Rafa would give “ meaning Rafa wants Novak dead so he won’t lose to him anymore.

        This was 2011, when there was public backlash , Tipsarevic said it was a joke and they were excited after Davis Cup win and decided to do it. Rafa never said anything.

      • That’s pretty disgusting. State sponsored hate. I’ve never heard about this before, it’s not like commentators or pundits talk about it, at all.


        The weirdest thing is that he’s a tax exile. The Serb government get nothing from him in the way of any kind of income. Mind you, Westminster gave that wife beater, Shir Sean a Knighthood and he was a tax exile, also a wife beater.

        As much as I can’t stand, D, I love Rafa more. Any new topics, mods? Anything?

      • A bit off topic here. What’s your thought on GS fixation. Its the Sampras effect or media that started it. Now it seems nothing else matters except for GS in tennis . I was just watching the famous Rafa presser of Rome 2019 where he spoke about how he attains his mental strength. He also said he wasn’t focused on GS. I guess he’s shown it by playing different kinds of tennis. Didn’t save his energy for just GS. Anyway let me know what your POV is. Cheers

      • I think in the grand scheme of what the public who are casual tennis watchers and watch it for entertainment, not because they love one player, will see Grand Slams as being directly proportional to GOAT-ness.

        It’s strange that you mention Sampras. I actually think that Agassi achieved more. Agassi got the golden super slam. All four slams, Olympic gold and WTF. Pete never won the French nor got a gold medal. So was Agassi a better player? I think he was. Everyone should read Agassi’s autobiography, Open. For a good part of his career he actually hated tennis and because of that mindset, he just lost because he had no interest in winning.

        So Slams equalling the best ever. I think it depends who you ask but I went straight from loving Agassi to loving Rafa and through the love for the both of them, the subsequent result was hating everyone else. Apart from Roger, I could actually watch and enjoy Rafa play Roger. Was I disappointed if Rafa lost, sure. But not so furious that I would have thrown something heavy at the TV had he lost to D. Mercifully never seen that happen.

        Going back 20 yearsish. I couldn’t stand Pete. Without that serve he was a nobody. He was a very boring player, to be honest. There was no TV catchup or downloading matches, back then, so if you’re wanting to watch Agassi, get ready for disappointment.

        At the end of the day, it’s up to each individual how they measure greatness. For me, the two greatest players are the ones who played second fiddle, as it were.

      • I’m was also an Agassi fan, I didn’t like Sampras at all. When Agassi was about to retire I thought I was going to quit the sport. Then I watched his SW19 match against Rafa thought, let me see what this guy can do. I’ve never looked back.

        The GS difference between the two does have an impact on how they are viewed. The Olympic gold n RG win for Andre does elevate his achievements in the game. I can’t put him above Sampras though. If it was at least 3maybe, 6 is a lot. I disagreed with being called a GOAT.

        I actually don’t believe in goat debate. I know that doesn’t sound sane. I think players of different eras can’t really be compared. You can be the best in your era. It’s also difficult to define eras FEDAL played with so many different groups.

        GOAT includes off court performances: charector, influence, impact , growing the game etc

        Today’s Tennis is so one dimensional. I wish these guys volleyed more, attacked more. Everything is just backhand and forehand on the baseline that’s it. The GS debate bores me. I think it’s ruining the game. The current players will kill the game. Hope Alcaraz’s generation can save it
        Meddy, Zverev, Tsitsipas, Rublev and co, are a NO. That’s all I’m saying on them, a NO. Hope that makes sense


      • LOL. Dude, you confound me. You say that slams aren’t the be all and end all then say Sampras was better as he won six more than Agassi, who was your favourite player at the time.

        Tennis nowadays is a bit stale to be honest. I hope that the newbies can inject a bit of whoomf in to the game. I’ve seen Drop shot – Lob being used a lot more than it has been in the entire 21st Century. I love that play.

        As for volleying, yeah, definitely get to the net more but the days of Serve-Volley every serve and chip and charge (very different from the SABR) are happily in the past. I got put off Serve volleyers for life because of Cum on Tim. All it leads to is short boring rallies. Doing a serve volley at random times to keep the opponent guessing is a good play though.

        I think playing to hit the side lines rather than the base line is also a good play. Get the opposition moving all over the court and not just along the base line.

        I don’t know what a NO is.

        I’m jealous of how many times you must have seen Rafa live at RG. The French are pretty rude though, I don’t like the country. Especially the Parisites. If I had the money though I’d get tickets to RG and annoy them by refusing to speak French, hehe.

        In the 90s the Beeb covered a lot of Wimblers, Centre Court, Court one and some Court two. Full matches. The rest was really not that extensive highlights of other Slams and you didn’t know the winner of the highlights package because it’s not like you could Google it. The back pages of newspapers were predominantly only about how well bloody Cum on Tim and that bore fest Rusedski were doing. It was Rusedski that started the whole towel at the back of the court thing. He’s got a lot to answer for.

        As for Rafa’s serve. I don’t think he should have changed it. People were singing Rafa’s praises with this new amazingly great serve. It turned out to be not so great after that abdominal tear. His “old” serve worked pretty well for 15 plus years, he shouldn’t have changed it.

        I’m going to say a no to doubles except at the Olympics. Rafa has to carefully cherry pick his tournaments and I think the wisest course of action would be singles alone. Less stress on his body the better.

        There was a lot of female players you mentioned at the end, I don’t really follow the woman’s game.

      • Cluttering up this forum big style here. Sorry about that.

        It just jumped in to my head about Andre love transitioning in to Rafa love.

        Wimbledon 2006 semifinal. Andre vs Rafa. The year Andre retired. I was watching it like, who the hell is this kid? Wow! Incredible! Bear in mind that on British TV they really only covered Queens and Wimblers. Unless you had cable or satellite. Which I didn’t have at the time.

        After I got cable, I just could not get enough of Rafa. My mind was completely blown away by Rafa’s intensity, drive, determination, energy, (insert superlative).

        So that was the passing of the torch. Wimblers 2006 SF.

      • I most definitely get you. I’ve watched Rafa play live at RG, Phillip Chatrier, 2012-2014. We would buy tickets for quarters and semis. There is nothing like it. Fed as well.

        Surprised the UK didn’t have a sport channel where you could watch tennis. I just hope Rafa can improve his serve. His placement needs to be on point since his left arm can’t generate the power. He needs to maximize the advantage that a lefty has.

        I’m also hoping he plays more doubles to get himself into competition groove. Playing points with scoreboard pressure. So when he plays singles he is not as tight. That arm needs to get used to serving all over again.

        Fed was complaining that his arm was getting so sore. When he got back to playing after that long layoff towards the end of his career. I don’t see anything stopping Rafa from getting a doubles gold, even if he is 60% fit. Carlos can run, he can volley n smash all day long.

        We just want him healthy, the rest with is manageable.

        Nothing gets people irate as mentioning that Rafa is a multiple discipline champ (singles, doubles and team competition)
        Mention that he is the most decorated athlete on Tour at the moment with 92 singles, 11doubles and 5 Davis Cup titles)

        Mentioning his influence on the generation of players that are on Tour. This is an absolute flex: Alcaraz, Rudd, Korda, Rublev, Moutet, Fils, Varillas, Cauzaux, Syboth Wild, Moroszan, Shelton, Swiatek, Muchova, Kasatkina.

        They always say he is done, but these players are there and they are part of his legacy, greatness😁👌

      • I support my favorite but I also use common sense. I don’t do it blindly. I do recognize the work put in to win GS . So I weigh it against Olympic gold n RG Slam. Winning RG is no joke. I look at the work, effort n hours to win that 1 Slam. Toughhhh! I look at 6 Slam difference. I would then add the H2H. Career Titles. I can’t put Andre ahead but I still don’t put Sampras at goat level if I was to get into a goat debate.

        I really don’t believe in it . He was just a singles specialist. The game is too big just to give this title to a specialist. What else did he bring?

        I think Sampras had an edge on Andre. He inspired future players that’s important. I can’t put him at Goat level though. If I had to discuss goat😁Andre brought in more fans to the game, I’m one of them. That’s an important aspect, to attract fans. I don’t mean Kyrgios type of fans😁.

        Rafa has been a joy to watch. I just hope and pray he is healthy. The Tour lacks spark I haven’t watched much tennis for the entire time he’s been away. I haven’t paid my account so I really can’t watch😁I don’t make much effort to watch. . I check scores though and watch highlights of interesting matchups on utube. I have even downloaded a final on u tube.

        I’ve watched a lot of Laver FEDAL highlights, presser, RG matches, presser. You should watch that famous presser : Rafa Rome 2019. I really enjoyed it. Let me also recommend MC 2010 Rafa was nuts.

        The current players are not my cup of tea. I can’t watch them. I get too frustrated and negative. It’s not good for me. Maybe I don’t like the game as much as I thought I did. So I say no


      • I think once Rafa is gone, I’ll watch more full match replays of any match that Rafa won. Do Eeny meeny miny moe. 2013 IW. Fine.

        Yeah, I’d do the above rather than watch some serve plus forehand bore.

        I can really see me only watching Alcaraz and a few others until that glorious day where D retires and at that point, I guess, I’ll become a casual fan of Tennis and probably watch the latter stages of 500s, Masters and Slams. Just for the love of the sport.

        We”ll always have full match replays of Rafa winning though. That’s indelible.

      • Out of interest. Is there one or several matches of Rafa winning that you’d like to see but can’t get a hold of? I have the lot. 92 victory finals (late 2010s I have good chunks of victories on the way to the final). All victories against Roger plus all victories agains D. The very early victories against D are unfortunately horrendous quality highlights. All Roger defeats are good quality. Every match has a very broad spectrum of commentary language or no commentary (which is a million miles better than Russian commentary).

      • I think I would enjoy watching the 2013 US series when he made his comeback. I watched his matches in the early part of the year, South America, IW. I watched RG 2013 and quarters /semis live. I didn’t watch much of US series. I was watching highlights. I think that’s when FEDAL became a thing. I only heard it like 2 years later. I watched Brad and wanted to hear his take on players, I heard the term. I was like that’s interesting. I’m also a fan of Gilbert ‘winning ugly’ the guy is smart.

        Yeah 2013 US series interests me, including the US of course, he was a beast there. Not sure how many matches that makes. It should include the one where he hits a joker in the throat. Players need to put their racquet up and block a ball, 🤔😁smdh.

        I enjoy reading press transcripts. After big matches, major victories n losses, u get to understand who the person is, what they are made of. There is no better time than then. It works well in cases where I don’t want to look / watch or hear a particular player ‘s voice , reading the transcripts allows me to get clarity on what is sensationalized then I get to understand what the story is about

        I don’t enjoy watching Roger lose, I feel terrible . I want Rafa to win of course, so I would watch parts of the match not all of it. I enjoyed everything then, I can’t anymore. I’m a true FEDAL fan now.

      • 2013 was a truly great year, 10 tournament wins. Rafa’s had several great years but 2008 and 2013 stick out the most to me. 2008 probably more so with winning RG, Queens, Wimblers. Only other player to achieve that was Borg. Then of course the Olympic Gold was 2008.

        2013 North American swing plus USO was Canada, Cincinnati, USO.

        Dunno how this could work. Can you send megaUpload links on this? Please note, it would not be MegaUp which is just full of spam and ads and they get away with it by sounding like MegaUpload. Can you send private messages? Wouldn’t have thought so but had to ask.

        I’m typing the credentials carefully here. I like my green pointy avatar.

      • Woops it was well before the semi at wimblers. Round of 32. I think I just wanted it to be later in the tournament so my brain just made the SF match up.

      • Dunc, you are absolutely right to say the topic is about Djokovic. I guess I just don’t want to give it the oxygen….

      • I think it’s time for a new topic. That has nothing to do with Djokovic.

        This post has been around for far too long. It’s like the horse has no more flesh on it, it’s been flogged so much. Second time I’ve said, could the mods please change the topic. For the sake of my sanity more than anything.

    • Dunc, you are absolutely right to say that the topic is about Djokovic. I guess I just didn’t want to give it the oxygen….

  4. We only waste precious time discussing that toxic jealous mental Dopeovic…his fans are worse. His day will dawn like Lance’s did. Then we can really rejoice . Vamos our adored GOAT…RAFA FOR EVER 🇪🇦🇪🇦☘☘🇮🇪🇮🇪

  5. Uncle Toni has seen it all. His words are amusing and so sensible. It will be a joy
    to see Rafa playing on court again. A gentleman and a warrior. Rafa has nothing to
    prove-from the beginning, he was a phenomenon. Novak, a remarkable player,
    is, at times, crude and just plain embarrassing………there are some qualities
    a coach cannot teach🙏❤️

  6. Well Djokovic has always had a major chip on his shoulder, about how the fans don’t love him the way that they love Rafa and Roger and about how everyone is jealous of him etc. His family echoes the same views with his father making silly comments about how Roger and Rafa weren’t as friendly after they lost to Joker – all of it is complete nonsense. So it makes perfect sense that Djokovic fans have a chip on their shoulders as well. It’s obvious the Toni was just kidding, that’s why he also mentioned Alcarez getting injured as well. But not at all surprised that Djokovic or his fans take everything including themselves far too seriously!!!

  7. Rafa has demonstrated total respect for Novak and vica versa . But his Serbian fans have not shown the same respect for Rafa . They pretend that Nole has outplayed Rafa and is the much better player . I pointed out the truth to one recently which is the head to head matchup at 30-29 in Novak’s favor and that is about as even as it comes . Rafa is superior on clay , Nole is better on grass and indoor hard . They are about even on outdoor hard with Nole having a slight edge .
    As far as Toni Nadal’s observation , I am encouraged that he sees Rafa getting ready and improving for his return in 2024 . That is very promising . Maybe , if possible , he can repeat the start of 2022 with Slams at AO , Roland Garros and a very close 5 set tie breaker loss in the semi’s at Wimbledon against Novak ? That’s why we believe in Rafa !

    • I personally don’t want to even think about Rafa vs Djokobitch, where a close five set tie break loss for Rafa is concerned.

      Rafa is coming back after an entire year off the tour. The last thing he needs is a load of expectation and speculation on his shoulders about what he SHOULD achieve. Especially when it’s about a slam final that went to five but Rafa still lost, oh well. At least you made the final.

      I mean, is that an achievement to strive for, a close loss at the Wimblers final?

      Rafa can beat anyone on any surface. That’s just a fact, he can.

      In my mind, that’s all the encouragement Rafa needs.

    • Sorry. A semi Wimblers loss, not the final. Sure, the tanking points are nice but, ye know, you should never sell Rafa short, ever.

      I’m probably coming across with complete double standards, don’t speculate yet at the same time, don’t count him out.

      This is just me. The less pressure on Rafa, the better.

      And I’ll leave it as, he’s capable of winning any tournament.

  8. Thank you to Uncle Toni for everything he has done for Rafa.👍🙏 Rafa is a super ⭐️ on and off the court.🤩❤️

    • Serbian media has talk shows that discuss how Rafa takes drugs. After Novak RG 22 quarter final loss these shows were more aggressive . Even said Rafa won’t have kids.

      They are very funny to point out a comment by Toni which included other players. The hate shows are targeted on Rafa alone. Like his mother said to Roger, the King is dead. They dish what they can’t take. Toxic people

  9. I shout at the TV quite a lot, while watching Djokobitch lose. I’ve never watched one match that he’s won, ever. Not going to start watching him win either. Anyway, it’s usually along the lines of BREAK YOUR LEG, FREAK!

    Toni said that stuff as a joke, obviously. I’m not joking when I’m shouting at the screen.

    • Totally agree with you! Can’t stand him and only ever watch replays of matches he loses because I enjoy seeing him lose. I strongly suspect someone else’s urine is used.

      • Ha. Nail. On. Head.

        That cyclist, Lance Armstrong got away with it for years, like over ten years.

        I cannot think of a better thing to happen than, him, being caught. All your titles are forfeit, you’re a disgrace to the sport. Lifetime ban.

        As for watching, him, same story really. There was a major dry spell when it came to Rafa vs mutant. Seven match winning streak, all finals, going the way of the freak. I did watch every semi Rafa was in but there’s absolutely zero chance of me watching the final live. God no.

        Only time he is ever watched is after I’ve looked at the scores.and he’s lost. I recall a match against Dimitrov in Madrid. This is hilarious. The crowd was very pro-Dimitrov. Dimitrov took the first, then after Djokobitch won the second, this is what he honestly screamed to the crowd, in Serbian, at the top of his lungs. “You can all suck my cck, I fck your mother”. Wharra delightful gentleman.

        Dimitrov went on to win mercifully and Djokobitch was booed off the court. Haha.

        One of my favourite matches ever.

  10. The best for Rafa and Toni would be to stop mentioning Djokovic’s name because whatever they say Serbian press and some Djokovic fans simply can’t take it in normal way.

Leave a Reply