Top coach on how Rafael Nadal has been dealing with fatherhood


Since his first professional match, Rafael Nadal was among the youngsters to beat. Rafa made a lot of progress up the ATP ranking list in 2002 and 2003, breaking into the top-50 and going for more in 2004. For the first time in his career, Nadal failed to progress up the ATP ranking list despite winning his first ATP title in Sopot in August. Battling injuries and lack of form in the latter part of the season, Rafa still achieved a big goal at the end of 2004 and became a Davis Cup champion with Spain. With momentum heading into 2005, the teenager was eager to show off his best tennis and challenge the top opponents. The young Spaniard moved into the second week in Melbourne, losing to Lleyton Hewitt in five sets. Rafa made a long trip to the other part of the world and won titles in Costa do Sauipe and Acapulco to be on the verge of the top-30 before Miami. Nadal became the second-youngest finalist at a Masters 1000 in Florida, blowing a huge lead against Roger Federer and losing in five sets despite coming within two points of beating the world number 1 in straight sets for the second year in a row. Expecting more of the same in Monte Carlo, Nadal knocked out Gael Monfils in the first match and played even better against Belgium’s Xavier Malisse in the second. Rafa scored a 6-0 and 6-3 victory in one hour and two minutes to advance to the round of 16. Mastering serve and return, Nadal dropped nine points in his games and broke four in as many opportunities to seal the match in no time. After the match, Rafa recalled his first appearance in the Principality, in 2003, at the age of 16. He qualified for the main draw and defeated Karol Kucera and reigning Roland Garros champion Albert Costa in straight sets to advance to the round of 16 in his Masters 1000 debut.

Toni comments on Rafa Nadal

Rafael Nadal’s uncle Toni recently opened up about how the Spaniard has been dealing with fatherhood. “My relationship with the child is the same as I would have with any family member. He is my nephew’s son, and I am delighted because, for the moment, he is the youngest of the family. We are all very happy and with the satisfaction of seeing another child in the family,” he said. “Well, I imagine that his father Rafael, who is very fond of sports, will have plenty of time to dedicate to his son and try to get him to play something. Although in the end, the decision of whether or not children play is more theirs than that of their parents or relatives,” Toni said.

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