WATCH: Rafael Nadal admits he misses his son already

(AP) – Rafael Nadal is a different man. He’s losing sleep over his newborn baby and not so much the No. 1 ranking.

Even with all of his absences, Nadal has a shot at finishing the season as the world No. 1. He has racked up 5,820 points, trailing only the top-ranked Carlos Alcaraz, who has 6,650. But Nadal made clear on Tuesday what his priorities were when he was peppered with questions about fighting for the year-end No. 1 spot.

There will be no fight.

Nadal has achieved the coveted year-end No. 1 ranking five times, tied with Roger Federer, and trailing only Novak Djokovic (7) and Pete Sampras (6).

“I don’t fight to be No. 1,” Nadal said at a Paris Masters news conference. “Something that I said since long time ago: I will not fight anymore to be No. 1. I did in the past. I achieved that goal a couple of times in my career that I have been very, very happy and proud about. But I am in a moment of my tennis career that I don’t fight to be No. 1.”

For now, he wants to be a No. 1 dad.

He has come to Paris for his first tournament since his wife Maria Francisca Perello gave birth to their first child — a boy — in early October. Nadal admitted he’s approaching things differently now that he’s a father.

“It’s quite interesting how, even after [knowing him only] two or three weeks, leave your son at home and not be able to see him … you start missing him,” Nadal said. “We are lucky today that, with the technology, everything, we can do video calls any time that you want.”

“It’s obvious that when I was No. 1 for the first time in my career in 2008, I really wanted to be there,” Nadal said, “because I felt that 2005, ’06, ’07, including ’08, I was doing amazing results, winning a lot of tournaments, having a lot of points on the ranking system.

“Today is a different story for me. I don’t know how many events I played, like 10, and I finished eight. Difficult to be No. 1 like this. But happy to be in that position that says when I was playing, I was playing well.”

Source: Associated Press


  1. Good luck to the new Dad. We hope you find a good balance between the tennis court and

  2. Does anyone know where Nadal is staying in Paris? I have seen many other players comng in to and going out of the Pullman Hotel Bercy but not him 😕 Quelqu’un sait dans quel hôtel dans Paris Nadal est hébergé? Fiona à Paris

    • Not sure where he is this time but in the past he has stayed at the Plaza Athenee on Av. Montaigne. You might check there.

  3. Amazing we never expected anything else from this super human – good luck remember this will all be part of an outstanding journey you have traveled with millions of fans!!!!!!!

  4. Family first Rafa. We wish you success in tennis as always but we are grateful for everything you have given us till date. All the best for your upcoming match.

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