Nadal in no rush to join the super-coach trend

Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:02pm EST
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(Reuters) - Briton Andy Murray started it. Four times Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic pulled a major surprise with his choice, while all-time great Roger Federer even has one despite years of shunning the entire coaching concept.

The trend of hiring big names is not restricted to the top top echelon of men's players, though. Japan's Kei Nishikori, France's Richard Gasquet and Croatia's Marin Cilic all have one also.

Rafa Nadal, however, is in no hurry to join them. He is quite happy with uncle Toni and will not be seeking to appoint a former grand slam winner to his coaching team.

"Seriously for me, I believe in the continuation of the things, something (that has worked for a) long time," Nadal said as he looked ahead to his Australian Open second-round match against local hope Thanasi Kokkinakis on Thursday.

"My team is the same since I start. That is something that I am proud of."

Toni Nadal has coached his 27-year-old nephew since he was four years old and guided the bustling left-hander to an Olympic gold medal and 13 grand slam titles - two of which came in 2013 when few wondered if Rafa's creaky knees would ever make him a force in the game again.

Nadal now sits behind Pete Sampras (14) and Federer (17) on the all-time list of men's grand slam singles winners and the world number one was adamant his bond with his uncle had got him to within sight of tennis immortality.

"Toni knows very well my tennis, knows very well my character," Nadal added.

"He knows what he has to say to me in the important moments, when I am under pressure, when I am scared, when I am confident.   Continued...