Toni Nadal has tipped Casper Ruud to ascend to the world No. 1 ranking and also given his reaction to his nephew, Rafael Nadal, crashing out at the ATP Finals.
Top seed Nadal beat Ruud in his final match in Turin, 7-5 7-5, after having lost his first two as he failed to secure his progression at an event he has never managed to win in his illustrious career.
First speaking about Ruud, who attended the Rafa Nadal Academy under Toni's tutelage as a younger player, the iconic coach was in no doubt that the Norwegian would continue to rise to the top of the world rankings.
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"Casper Ruud, I remember when he came to the academy, he had a bad backhand because, in my opinion, he made bad movements with his legs," he told Eurosport.
"Now his backhand is good. Back then, I said he needed to change a little. Now watch what has happened with Casper.
"Every year, he has improved a little. I remember, when he came to the academy, he never thought that he could be No. 2 in the world.
"Now, I have seen many of his matches and he is a very good tennis player. He can be No. 1.
"The most important thing in tennis and in life is to improve," he added.
"Casper has this capacity. Normally he makes things very easy, very simple and not complicated.
"With calmness, he hits the ball very well. When you are alone and on the tour, you have to improve and try to learn."
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Reflecting on Nadal winning his final match in Turin against Ruud before bowing out of the event, his uncle explained that the 36-year-old's preparations were far from ideal.
"It was good," he said. "For my nephew, this was an important match because I knew that when Rafa came here, he came with not enough proper preparation.
"It is very difficult. When you arrive at a Grand Slam it is not the same problem because you have had a few matches. If he can pass the first week then in the second week he can win the tournament.
"But here it is not the same because in the first match you play against one of the best players in the world, and then it is too difficult.
"When he arrived at the Australian Open, for example, he did not play too good in the first game, the second not too good, in the third the same, then better and better.
"This is what he did there, but this is impossible here."
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