ROME — Rafael Nadal’s coach and uncle Toni Nadal has said he will no longer accompany the tennis great on tour, complaining that he is being shut out of decision-making.
“From next year I will no longer follow Rafael on the circuit and I will focus exclusively on our (tennis) academy,” he was quoted as saying on the Italian website tennisitaliano.it.
Nadal’s spokesman Benito Perez said the decision was unexpected.
“These words took us somewhat by surprise. If he said that, then it means just that. I will speak to Rafa about it in the coming days. I don’t think we will be immediately communicating on this subject,” he said.
Coach Nadal said there was no rift with the former world No. 1 and multiple Grand Slam champion.
“Relations with my nephew are still excellent. During all these years, we have never been through a crisis,” he said.
“Until he was 17 years old, it was me who decided everything. Then Carlos Costa arrived as manager. Then his father became closer, each having his opinions.
“And the truth is that every year I had less decision-making, until the day when I will decide on nothing.”
Spain’s Carlos Moya joined the Nadal coaching team at the end of last year.
Gasquet in semis
Two-time defending champion Richard Gasquet of France beat big-serving countryman Kenny De Schepper 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 to reach the semifinals of the Open Sud de France Friday.
De Schepper, a left-handed player ranked 162, had 16 aces. But he also proved vulnerable on his serve, conceding 22 break points, with Gasquet converting five.
The third-seeded Gasquet next faces Benoit Paire and holds a 3-0 record against his countryman in their career meetings.
Paire advanced after Germany’s Dustin Brown retired early into their quarterfinal. Paire had broken Brown’s serve for a 1-0 lead.
In Saturday’s other semifinal, second seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France will take on 19-year-old German Alexander Zverev — one of the rising stars of world tennis.
Tsonga had seven aces and did not face a single break point in a 6-2, 7-5 win against Daniil Medvedev, breaking the Russian’s serve three times. Having won 95 percent of his points on first serve on Thursday, Tsonga did even better this time with 96 percent.
Meanwhile, the fourth-seeded Zverev had 13 aces as he beat Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-4, 4-6, 6-2. — Agencies