Rafael Nadal suggested that he is still figuring out ways of fatherhood after he recently received a unique award that none of his competitors have won. The Spaniard was honored with the 'Best Dad award' in a light-hearted celebration of his 'still new' experience of becoming a father.
Nadal and his wife Maria Francisca Perello became parents to their son Rafael Jr. on October 8th, 2022, and the little one has already been part of his father's traveling contingent on the tennis tour. He accompanied his parents and the rest of the family to Turin for the ATP Finals last month.
After a recent interview with Marca, the Spanish tennis legend was given the 'Best Dad' award by the Spanish publication. An amused Nadal joked that he is still working on his 'dad skills.'
"For the moment I will have to work on this," Nadal said with a laugh after receiving the award.
While it was suggested that his wife Mery should be the one deciding whether he deserved an award for being the best dad, the 36-year-old hilariously quipped that he would certainly not receive the award in that case.
"Then surely not," the 22-time Grand Slam champion added with a chuckle.
Nadal also revealed that his 10-week-old son will travel with him and other family members to Australia next week for his month-long campaign on the hard courts down under. The 14-time French Open champion will begin his 2023 season at the United Cup, starting December 29th, before he begins his Australian Open title defense in mid-January.
Rafael Nadal always expected fatherhood to be a post-retirement experience for him
Speaking to Marca, Rafael Nadal also opened up about the "drastic change" in his life as he now has another huge responsibility on his shoulders in the form of fatherhood while also continuing to focus on his tennis career. The Spaniard admitted that his career has lasted "much longer" than he ever expected and that he always imagined he would embrace fatherhood after retiring from tennis.
Now that both these crucial aspects of his life are present at the same time, he is doing his best to manage them well and is cherishing the experience.
"Well, of course it has been a drastic change," he said on the same. "But you have to organize yourself to be able to continue leading my professional life in the best possible way. I am happy, enjoying a new stage that was already playing as well."
"I always thought that all this would come when I retired. That's what I always had in my head. The point is that my career, luckily, lasted much longer than I expected. So you have to learn to live with this new life stage and try to continue being as competitive as possible," the Spanish great added.
Up next for the World No. 2 is another new experience in the inaugural United Cup, which will see the top men's and women's stars representing their respective countries in a team-based format.