Will being a father change Rafael Nadal's plans on the time he stays on tour?



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Will being a father change Rafael Nadal's plans on the time he stays on tour?

"I am not thinking about retirement...when it will be, it will be," Rafael Nadal, ranked no. 2 in the world has said to people thinking his retirement is near. He has had his share of injuries and low performing court competitions.

Despite his age of 36, Nadal's priorities may have changed since becoming a dad, less than a month ago on October 8th. He now has a lot to consider in his personal as well as professional life on being a tennis player. The season is three quarters over and the Spaniard has had a bad foot injury during the French Open.

It was a lot to deal with and Nadal has said that "I'm not going to lie to you. During Roland Garros I thought that it could be my last tournament...the foot...has been a disaster..." Then it was an abdominal injury that caused him to withdraw during Wimbledon and he was unable to go deep at this year's U.S.

Open. It was the third round where he defeated Richard Gasquet but in the Round of 16, then lost to Frances Tiafoe in 4 sets. The situation was scary for Nadal as he remembers back saying "I busted my abs at Wimbledon...I don't really feel (like retiring) nor do I want to think about it," he emphasizes.

The tour situations have created a push for Nadal to perform when at times he might not have wanted. It was out of obligation that the Spaniard flew to London to play doubles with Roger Federer at the Laver Cup, since it was the Swiss last time on court before retiring.

The doubles match was basically Federer's idea of which Nadal honored. "I think it could be quite a unique situation, if it were to happen...it would be great," Federer smilingly said. Well it did happen and the two icons couldn't overpower their opponents Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe causing them to bow out in the opening round.

After playing the doubles, Nadal withdrew from the Laver Cup and flew back to Spain since awaiting the birth of his son. October 8th was a great day as little Rafa was born to him and wife Mery in a private clinic in Mallorca, Spain.

Things are different now and any activities the Spaniard does has to be considerate for his wife and baby. The events are slowly ending and the beginning of the next season will be pure speculation of what may materialize. The Rolex Paris Masters is a large event in which Novak Djokovic is the defending champion and he and Nadal have landed in the same half.

The ability to train properly and feel like he can give nearly 100% to gain success on the court is Nadal's goal. It's still waiting to be seen once he starts his competition in Paris, how well Nadal can perform. After the Rolex Masters will be the ATP Finals in Italy.

Will Rafa be able to maintain his strength and competitiveness at this season ending tournament? The ATP chief Andrea Gaudenzi definitely wants Nadal to play the finals and feels that he will. "I know it's an event he would like to win at all costs because it's only the important title missing from his resume," Gaudenzi commented.

The Rolex and Nitto are the two Rafa is lacking in titles. Carlos Moya, his coach is so looking forward to the Spaniard doing well in both events. "He has not been able to win it, but he has achieved good results and has come close...on several occasions," Moya explains.

Rafael Nadal knows that time is slowly ticking away for him to play the tournaments and do well in both. The point of having the enthusiasm to still play on tour is one thing, but quite another if his enthusiasm can and will produce the success he wants and needs to add two more important titles to his resume that is filled to the abundance with rewards.