The coach of Rafael Nadal, his uncle Toni, has responded to critics of the nine-time French Open winner who suggested that the Spaniard should change coaches to have a chance of one again playing at a high level.
The 14-time grand slam winner has had a difficult 2015 season, which saw him drop to 10th in the ATP rankings heading to the US Open, his lowest in more than a decade.
The 29-year-old did, however, win his third title of the season in Hamburg last week and ‘uncle Toni' was happy with the way in which he played, for the most part.
"The game was more or less well, he performed the entire week at a good level. Rafael's problem is not so much his game, but his consistency," Toni Nadal saidduring extensive interview with Spanish website La Voz de Galicia.
"His game is not far from a high level. In the Hamburg semis, it was at a very good level."
Some critics of Nadal, including former world number one John McEnroe, has suggested that the only way for the Mallorcan to regain his best form is to change coaches, but Toni disagreed, saying he "does not pay attention to what those say".
Nevertheless, the optimistic coach said that Nadal could still have a "great year" should he win the US Open.
Nadal kicks off his US Open preparations at the Rogers Cup in Canada this week, where he will take on either Filip Peliwo or Sergiy Stakhovsky in the second round.