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Rafael Nadal has opened up on the emotions of competing on the tour as a father for the first time. The world No 2 is making his comeback at the Paris Masters after taking some time away following the US Open as he continued to recover from an abdominal tear sustained at Wimbledon and welcomed his first child with Mery Perello.
Nadal is back in action at this week’s Paris Masters after almost two months away from competition. As well as his first official tournament since the US Open, the final Masters 1000 of the year also marks the Spaniard’s first event since becoming a father, as he and his wife welcomed a son last month.
The 22-time Grand Slam champion had been warned by his uncle Toni over the difficulty of competing as a father, and has now lifted the lid on how it feels to be away from his son for the first time. “It has always been difficult to leave home to be honest,” the second seed in Paris admitted.
And Nadal said it had become tough after welcoming his first child, adding: “Now it’s different again. After three weeks knowing my son, it’s a difficult experience in life to have to miss him, you have to adapt to it.”
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The Spaniard was still happy to be back in action following his fourth-round loss in Flushing Meadows, and explained how he planned to stay in touch with his family. “But we are lucky to make video calls any time we want,” he added.
“I’m good, I’m happy to be on the tour again, in a city very important for me, as everyone knows. Just trying to put myself in the position to be competitive.” Nadal will be hoping to win his maiden trophy at the Paris Masters this week, one of the titles that has always eluded him despite his success at the nearby French Open.
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The world No 2 has also qualified for the year-end ATP Finals to be held in Turin later this month, another tournament he has never been able to win. And his coach Carlos Moya has already confirmed that Nadal will play in the Italian city for the first time after failing to qualify when he ended his 2021 season early in the tournament’s inaugural year in Turin.
Nadal will then embark on an exhibition tour across South America world world No 4 Casper Ruud, playing in the likes of Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador and Brazil.
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