Rafael Nadal left in dark about uncle's decision to quit

Toni Nadal has revealed he told Hungarian media about his decision to part ways with Rafael Nadal, before he informed his tennis superstar nephew.

The Nadals have enjoyed one of the longest and most successful coaching relationships in the history of tennis.

Rafael Nadal has won 14 Grand Slams under the tutelage of his uncle, tying Pete Sampras for the second most in history behind Roger Federer's 18.

But Toni said he had made the decision to leave his nephew's side prior to the Australian Open, where Nadal lost to Federer in an epic final.

"When I travelled to Australia I had decided to leave," Toni told Spanish publication El Espanol.

"When I left for Melbourne I did not tell Rafael, but I said goodbye to everyone because I knew it would be the last time I would go there: the driver, the person who looks after us, the director of the tournament.."

Toni Nadal didn't tell Rafael of his decision to quit. Pic: Getty

Toni later said he regretted keeping the news from Nadal, who only heard about his uncle's impending departure after a newspaper interview in Hungary.

"If I thought it was big news, I would not have said it there in Budapest in that setting."

"He was a little bit surprised at the start, but we have explained it to him well," Toni was quoted as saying by AFP.

"Rafael has always taken things well, he is not the problematic type."

The 55-year old cited the demands of traveling on tour as the reason to scale back at the end of this year.

The elder Nadal will instead be tasked with overseeing coaching at Rafael's tennis academy on his home island of Mallorca.

Toni Nadal said he didn't think his departure was a big deal. Pic: Getty

"I understand that my role will be in the academy," Toni added.

"At my age, I have travelled around the world and for a while when I have to travel it is hard.

"I have three children. The academy has given me a reason to enjoy being here (in Mallorca)."

Carlos Moya will take over as Rafael Nadal's main coach in 2018. Pic: Getty

Former world number one Carlos Moya will take over as Nadal's main coach for 2018 having joined his team back in December.

"I have told him he is well looked after," Toni said.