Rafa Nadal has opened up on his heartache after leaving his wife and newborn son at home in Mallorca to travel to the Paris Masters this week.
The Spanish champion confirmed last month that he and wife Xisca had welcomed a baby boy - their first child together.
After a short break the World No.2 is back in action at the Paris Masters, leaving his newborn at home with Xisca.
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Speaking ahead of the ATP 1000 event, Nadal opened up on how hard it was to leave.
“It’s a different approach compared to usual,” Nadal said.
“Always has been tough to leave home. It's quite interesting how even after two or three weeks, to leave your son at home and not be able to see him, it's interesting how even after only three weeks knowing him, you start missing him.
“All the changes are difficult in this life, and you need to adapt to it. It's at the same time true that we are lucky today that, with technology, we can do video calls any time you want, so that always helps.”
Nadal admitted earlier in his career that he didn't want to start a family until after retirement.
At age 36 and with a newborn son, many believe we will see Nadal call it quits within the next 12 months.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, the 22-time grand slam champion said he had no interest in battling Carlos Alcaraz for the World No.1 ranking in another telling hint that retirement is looming.
Nadal could yet end the year at the top of rankings, but to overtake Alcaraz he would likely need a deep run in Paris and the season-ending ATP Finals in Turin later this month.
"To be clear, I understand it's an interesting point because you're talking about fighting for No.1, [but] I don't fight any more to be World No.1," Nadal said.
"I just fight to keep being competitive in every event that I play. It's something I said a long time ago, I will not fight any more to be No.1. I did in the past. I achieved that goal a couple of times in my career and I have been very, very happy and proud about achieving that. But I am at a moment in my tennis career where I don't fight to be No.1.
"I'm just excited to be here. I'm here to try my best and then accept things how they are coming. Hopefully, I will be ready, I'm going to try to be competitive. Let's see. I'm excited about it."
Rafa Nadal proud of achievements in 2022
Nadal won the Australian and French Open titles in 2022, taking him one grand slam clear of Djokovic on 21.
The veteran champions are now the only players in the top 10 aged over 30, with four of the other eight players aged under 25.
"My feelings are that I am proud of all the things that I was able to still be here in 2022," Nadal said, when asked what it was like to be competing against the next generation of talent.
"It's something that says that I did a lot of things well in my life, not only my tennis career. To hold the passion, to hold the love for the game and fighting spirit.
"I'm proud of that and just hope that I can enjoy the last two events of the year."
Meanwhile, Djokovic opened his Paris Masters campaign on Tuesday with a routine 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 win over Maxime Cressy.
A six-time champion at the ATP 1000 event in the French capital, Djokovic was made to toil in the opening set but emerged unscathed after the American double-faulted twice in the tie-break.
"It was very intense, just a lot of pressure," he said.
"When you play someone that serves this well - first and second serve - you don't have much room to relax and maybe play kind of a softer few games. A break came at the right time, perfect time actually. I was very pleased with the way I held my serve, didn't face a break point."
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