Rafael Nadal insists uncle Toni presence will be ‘zero problem’ in Felix Auger-Aliassime match

Rafael Nadal says his upcoming match against Felix Auger-Aliassime at the French Open is ‘what he needs,’ and insists he is not bothered about his Uncle Toni coaching the Canadian in the clash.

Nadal won 87% of the points on his first serve against Botic Van De Zandschlup on Friday to ease into the round of 16 with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 win.

That sees him facing the prospect of playing Felix Auger-Aliassime, who is now coached by his uncle Toni.

”He’s one of the players in better shape on Tour, without a doubt,” Nadal said of Auger-Aliassime. “He’s a Top 10 player.

“It’s a Round of 16 [match]. I know I have to play at a very high level to have chances to keep going. It’s going to be a good test. In some ways, that’s what I need.”

Toni Nadal was Rafa’s coach for most of his career, adding an intriguing sub-plot to their match on Sunday.

Rafael Nadal, though, has attempted to defuse any sensationalism attached to it immediately.

“I already talked with Toni after my match,” Nadal said.

“For me, it’s very simple. He’s my uncle. I don’t think he will be able to want me to lose, without a doubt, but he’s a professional and he’s with another player.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen, if he’s going to stay in the box or not, but I don’t care. I have zero problem with that. It’s not a story at all for me.

“I know the feelings that we have between each other. I know he wants the best for me. Now he’s helping another player.

“But honestly, for me, it’s zero problem, and I know he wants the best for me.”

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