Try playing more for your child to see? Nadal considers it

The Spaniard debuted this Thursday with victory in Madrid

April 25, 2024

Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour

By Staff

Rafael Nadal has always loved playing at home at the Mutua Madrid Open in front of a fully equipped players’ box, packed with family and friends.

During Thursday’s first round match there was a special expansion in the box, although it was not necessary to bring in an additional chair. Nadal’s son Rafael spent time sitting on the lap of his mother Maria Francisca and aunt Maria Isabel, before celebrating the five-time tournament champion’s two-set victory over American teenager Darwin Blanch.

When asked after the match if he would play more often in front of his son, Nadal said: “Well, I would love to play a little more and give him a memory of me playing tennis,” said the 36-time ATP Masters 1000 champion. “It will be ideal for me, my wife and my family.”

Unfortunately, as he enters the latter stages of his career, Nadal said playing long enough to create lasting memories for his son can be difficult. “I probably won’t be able to make it. But at least I am happy to have a great team and family and friends around me throughout my life who helped me in every way to be happy.”

“Today is no exception. I still have a great family, a great team and friends from when I was a kid, a little kid. That makes me happy and, in some way, it makes me feel great that they are here, but I hope that they will continue to be by my side in the future after my tennis career, and that makes me feel great and super happy.”

Rafael Nadal competes Thursday in Madrid, where his wife Maria Francisca and son Rafael were in attendance.
Rafael Nadal playing against María Francisca and Rafael. Credit: Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour.

Nadal gave his box much to cheer about when he opened his 20th appearance in Madrid with a resounding 6-1, 6-0 victory against Blanch, a 64-minute match that perhaps even kept the Spaniard’s son from falling asleep. .

Nadal, 37, competing in only his third tournament of 2024, also spoke after the match about how the physical aspect of his training regimen has changed over the years.

“Today I can give my 100 percent, sometimes 40 percent [del tiempo]”Sometimes 60 percent, sometimes 70 percent, and if I can increase this percentage day after day or week after week, why not in the future?” Nadal said. “If not, it is impossible and it makes no sense.”

Nadal will now face 10th seed Alex de Minaur, who defeated the Spaniard last week in Barcelona.


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