Rafael Nadal’s uncle Toni Nadal has taken a subtle dig at Novak Djokovic after the world No 1’s racquet smashing antics at the Olympics.
Djokovic’s temper got he better of him during his bronze medal match defeat to Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta in Tokyo last weekend.
After a losing a point early in the final set, a frustrated Djokovic threw his racquet into the stands before smashing it to pieces against the net post a few minutes later. He went on to lose 4-6, 7-6 (8/6), 3-6.
Uncle Toni says he told his nephew from a young age never to break a racquet on court.
“You throw one racket and I’m no longer your coach. There are millions of kids in the world who would love a racquet and don’t have one,” Toni Nadal said, as quoted by Tennis World.
“(Rafael) Nadal has never broken a racquet. It would be showing a lack of respect to people who actually have to buy the equipment to play the sport.”
Rafael Nadal, who competed at the ATP Tour 500-level event in Washington last week, also commented on Djokovic’s behaviour at the Olympics.
“The image is not the best. It is important to avoid this type of situation, especially as a role model for many children,” Nadal told reporters.
“In the end he is world number one and one of the best in history, it is strange that someone so successful reacts in this way from time to time, but in the end he’s very competitive and reacts like this.”
Nadal was upset 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 by South Africa’s Lloyd Harris in the third round in Washington.
He will now set his sights on the ATP Masters event in Toronto, where he could again come up against Harris.
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