Despite rumors at the US Open that things might not be as they were between the world No. 2 and the only coach he has ever known, Toni Nadal has told Spanish media that nothing major has changed.
He did say that as an adult, his nephew is naturally starting to voice even more opinions of his own, calling theirs "a normal relationship, as any person who is becoming more adult."
"Our relationship has evolved," Toni Nadal said. "What is difficult is that you get older. The relations in this area are changing, but the relationship is good.
"I have a relationship with my (own three) children that as they grow, they do not say the same thing now that they said seven or eight years."
That has also happened with Rafael, whom he called something between a nephew and a son. "It's logical since I spend so much time with him. I still like tennis a lot and I like to train with my nephew. "
Rafael, who lost a sixth final this year to rival Novak Djokovic at the US Open, sparked speculation after he spoke out in frustration. "You never know what is in the future. The time has now come when I can say more to him than (Toni) I have done previously.
"I'm not kidding when I say that from now on I will answer him back because I have more opinions than I had before. So far I've been happy with how I've played this year, but not with my matches against Djokovic. He's my motivation to play better."