Rafa Roundup: Everything Rafael Nadal Has Said About Fatherhood

Photo by Ernesto Perez/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images


When Rafael Nadal won the Australian Open this year, he became the first player ever, male or female, to win two or more Grand Slam titles in three different decades—it was his second of the 2020s, and he had already won six in the 2000s and 13 in the 2010s.

As if that weren’t historic enough, he one-upped his own record by winning Roland Garros, now becoming the first player ever to win three or more majors in three different decades.

“It will most likely be the last time I play in Mexico, Acapulco 2023 is not on my calendar and the 2024 season seems far away,” he explained.

“Now is the time to enjoy this moment to the fullest and play in an emblematic setting, with many people and in a country where I have always felt loved.”

Rafael Nadal has often produced his best level at Mutua Madrid Open, winning the ATP Masters 1000 title four times since the event transitioned from hard courts to clay in 2009. However, the Spaniard was forced to dig deeper than ever during his third-round meeting against David Goffin in the Spanish capital.

“Someone I have admired, who I have rivaled and also I have shared many beautiful things on and off the court was leaving,” Nadal told reporters ahead of an exhibition match in Argentina.

“In that sense, all those moments, those feelings you have before playing a final of a grand slam, of an important tournament, everything that was in the air before those matches. It was different from other matches.

“You know you’re not going to live that again and a part of my life left with him [when he retired]. It was also the emotion of saying goodbye to someone who has been so important to our sport.”

In a press conference on Tuesday, as reported by Eurosport, Nadal joked that being a father has so far meant more tiredness and less sleep. He went on to say he is no different from any other father, and that he is just trying to make the most of the wonderful experience.

“More tired, sleeping less,” Nadal said. “It’s one more concern in your life. Living it naturally, I’m neither more nor less than any father. With happiness. Trying to make the most of the moments I can be with him.”

Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award: The player who, throughout the year, conducted himself at the highest level of professionalism and integrity, who competed with his fellow players with the utmost spirit of fairness and who promoted the game through his off-court activities.

Carlos Alcaraz, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Rafael Nadal, Casper Ruud & Frances Tiafoe

VIDEO: Highlights – Nadal vs Ruud | Mexico Exhibition

Social media related to Rafa:

Rafa receives two paja toquilla hats – one for him and one for his son


    • No, Rafa never said or implied that he will retire in 2023. He simply said he will not defend his title in Acapulco in 2023. Makes complete sense, because the title requires five grueling days of wins with no rest in between days. Rafa could get a bigger and better masters 1000 title winning five days in a row in Monte Carlo for comparison. Glad to see Rafa being more selective in where he plays to prolong his tennis career.

      • The Acapulco slot on the calendar goes now to the Rafa v Carlito exhibition in Las Vegas the first week in March. Ticket prices will be sky high. I have no problem with the two of them making a few bucks off the old v young rivalry. I for one would like to get out there in person.

      • I read ticket prices will be $75 and up in the mgm grand garden arena with16,000 seats. There will also be a fundraising gala for Rafa’s foundation after the exhibition match. Hopefully some of us can see Rafa there and get a photo or two with Rafa!

  1. It’s nice to be able able to name your kid Rafael Nadal. It’s as cool as if I named my kid young_voter. How cool would that be?

    • Young_voter is so bland and boring.

      On the other hand, I would prefer Rafael Nadal 100% of the time. Rafael Nadal epitomizes strength, determination, resilience – all qualities that the sporting world cherishes.

      • So true! Rafael Nadal is the best and brings joy to many fans.The truth must hurt young_voter, who has no fan.

      • Larry W, you and I think alike. I am not a fan of everything young_voter has said on this Rafa fans site. So much blasphemy and disrespect from young_voter’s stinkin’ words.

  2. I am hopeful that Rafa returns to the same winning form as the 1st half of 2022 as winning 2 more slams would be an amazing accomplishment as the competition has toughened .

    • Rafa looked spectacular in his Latin America Tour exhibition matches, winning most of them, confident, and powerful. Above all, Rafa is happy and healthy. Best wishes Rafa for an even more successful 2023!

      • Yeah, hoping for a healthy and restful rest of 2022 for Rafa. He can come back stronger in 2023…wishing him a winning 2023 (many big titles and hopefully adding more grand slam titles), and remaining injury-free throughout the year.

      • Wishing Rafa all the success in the world and good health in 2023…more grand slam titles, trophy biting, and increasing his legacy will be nice, too! Rafa is approaching 100 ATP titles…hope he achieves that milestone soon.

      • Would love to see Rafa increase his grand slam title count in 2023…currently at 22 slam titles in 2022, and looking forward to Rafa getting #23 (and more) in 2023! I noticed that Madrid and Rome Masters have both been increased in length to 2 weeks in 2023, like how Indian Wells and Miami Masters are currently played over 2 weeks. I think Rafa can win these masters titles for sure in 2023, and now that they are played every other day, that will help with the rest and recovery between matches in 2023. We missed Rafa during clay season 2022 as he was mostly injured during that time or not at 100%, so he has lots to play for and little to defend during clay season in 2023. Peaking for Roland Garros 2023 would be ideal. Vamos Rafa!

      • Rafa is super man and will continue to set new records and amaze us in 2023. Can’t wait to see him back on the tennis court winning more titles and captivating fans and the tennis world in 2023!

    • Rafa’s Latin American Tour with Casper Ruud did wonders for his confidence heading into the offseason and 2023 after coming back from a lengthy ab injury. Rafa played very well and hit some amazing shots, and gave his large legion of fans unforgettable memories. Casper Ruud was playing at a very high level for his ranking as the world #3, and yet Rafa won most of their exhibition matches. Rafa showed great form. The matches in the stadiums with tens of thousands of fans were sold out. Lots of positive energy and love from the crowd. The highlights posted on youtube are a must watch. Loved it!

      • Thanks for the review and feedback. I’ve caught a lot of highlights of Rafa’s exhibition matches on YouTube, and Rafa looked great! Would love for Rafa to start 2023 strongly and successfully and peak at the grand slams with the title and trophy!

  3. Such joy on Rafa’s face on his exhibition tour-what a treat to see Gaby and Rafa on court!
    Hope you are able to enjoy both playing and fatherhood-all the best👍👏💪🤛🍀🎾❤️

  4. I am the consummate fan of Rafa! He embodies the best qualities in an athlete and the best in a man. He deserves every accolade he receives multiplied by 100! I wish him continued success and joy as an athlete and even more as a father. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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