Rafael Nadal on baby son watching him play: "Even if it’s for short period and he doesn’t know anything, for me it’s a great memory"

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal's wife Maria Francisca with Rafa Jr. (R)

Rafael Nadal recently talked about the fatherly emotions of having his son Rafa Jr. watch him compete live at the 2024 Madrid Open.

Nadal advanced to the third round in Madrid on the back of a revenge win against Australia's Alex de Minaur on Saturday, April 27. He defeated de Minaur 7-6(6), 6-3 in a second-round rematch of the 2024 Barcelona Open.

The five-time champion in Madrid started his journey emphatically by handing Darwin Blanch a 6-1, 6-0 beating in his opener. Notably, the Spaniard had his 18-month-old son Rafa Jr. watching him from the stands.

After his win over de Minaur on Saturday, Nadal expressed joy over having Rafa Jr. at home and, especially, in his team box.

"Have a son and come back home and see him and be a father is a completely different thing. The feeling is completely different to anything else, just have the chance to see him watching me play," the Spaniard told Tennis Channel (at 2:20).

He accepted that his son is too young to understand anything about the on-court business, however, he will always cherish the visuals of Junior being there.

"Even if it’s for just short period of time and doesn’t matter if he doesn’t know anything about what happened, that stays there and for me it’s a great memory," he added.

Notably, Junior had also traveled to Australia with the 22-time Grand Slam champion for the Brisbane International, to Vegas for the Netflix Slam, and to Barcelona earlier this year.

Rafael Nadal: "I wouldn't like to be the typical father who justifies everything his children have done"

A photo from the 2022 Wimbledon championships.
A photo from the 2022 Wimbledon championships.

In a recent interview, Rafael Nadal shockingly claimed that he doesn't wish for his son Rafa Jr. to choose tennis as a profession.

"I would prefer that [Rafa Jr.] practice another sport. It pains me to say it with everything that tennis has given me... If he wants to play tennis, I will support him. But if he plays another sport, better," he said.

The Spaniard then suggested that he would father Rafa Jr. strictly and not let his son's mistakes slide.

"I wouldn't like to be the typical father who justifies everything his children have done. At the moment I'm not in that position," he added.

At the moment, however, Nadal is focused on performing well at the 2024 Madrid Open as he gears up for a third-round meeting with Pedro Cachin from Argentina on Monday, April 29.

What is the foot injury that has troubled Rafael Nadal over the years? Check here

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