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Does Rafael Nadal need a new coach?

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Rafael Nadal, by his own high standards, has had a pretty poor 2015; he’s failed to get past the quarter finals of a Grand Slam so far, and his early exit at Wimbledon could see him drop out of the top ten of the World Rankings. In order to get back to his best, maybe it’s time to make changes to the coaching setup.

Uncle Toni has coached Rafa through his whole career, and up until recent months it’s been a very successful partnership, but I think the time has come to bring someone else on board. In recent months Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Stan Warwinka have taken their tennis to another level, and Nadal risks falling further behind unless changes are made.

Roger Federer, Djokovic, Murray and Warwinka have all made changes to their coaching setup in recent years and have all reaped the rewards. Boris Becker was appointed as Djokovic’s head coach in December 2013, as he felt changes were needed after a few defeats in major finals. The appointment of Becker has coincided with Djokovic getting back to his very best, and he’s won the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the World Tour finals with Boris as coach. In 2011, Andy Murray appointed Ivan Lendl as coach, and Lendl helped Murray take his game up several levels. Under his stewardship, Murray has won his only two majors to date.

What Nadal needs is some fresh ideas, an ex player who’s been there and done it, a coach that can help get his game to a much higher level. Gone are the days where the Spaniard was one of the favourites heading into tournaments, he’s no longer feared by his opponents and they know he’s beatable. Ivan Lendl, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi and Jimmy Connors would all be great choices. They’re all multiple Grand Slam winners, and have the experience within the game to help Nadal get back to the top. Toni Nadal has done a fantastic job of helping Rafa to become one of the greatest tennis players off all time, but I feel he has taken him as far as he can.

Rafael Nadal will be 30 next year and may only have a few years left in the game, so he really has to make the most of them. Kei Nishikori, Grigor Dimitrov and Milos Roanic are just 3 of the young guns that will be challenging for major trophies very soon; getting back among the top 4 may not be an easy task with the competitiveness within the men’s game.

Nadal needs to be ruthless in his decision making if he wants to get back to winning trophies, and a change of coach could be just what is needed.

Novak Djokovic Rafael Nadal Toni Nadal wimbledon

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