"Nadal hugged his father, his mother, and his sister. He hugged his manager and his uncle Miguel Angel and his girlfriend and his traveling buddies. Finally he came to his other uncle, Toni. Their relationship has been much scrutinized over the years, and Toni’s unforgiving ways with his nephew have been criticized. At this tournament, Nadal defended Toni, saying that he wouldn’t be where he is today without him. And it’s true, while Rafa is famous for his mental endurance, it was Toni’s stoical teachings that inspired that stamina. Asked a few days ago how often he fishes—it’s a favorite avocation of Rafa’s—Nadal said that he’d like to do it in the mornings, except that he has to practice. “My uncle,” he said with a smile, “wouldn’t be happy” if he skipped morning practice to go fishing.
Toni spun and danced and cried after the last point. When Rafa got to his uncle, he jumped into his arms. There were a lot of emotions, Nadal said, and love was one of them. And love, as they both knew, can be tough. Toni, whether it was having his nephew play with beat-up tennis balls as a kid, or helping him chase down Novak Djokovic this year, always made Rafa walk the hard road. Today was a day to celebrate how far it had taken them."
The Hard Way, Steve Tignor.
And this is why Steve Tignor is my favourite tennis writer.