‘It will be interesting to see if he diminishes his motivation by competing…’: Murray’s huge statement on Nadal

Rafael Nadal and his wife Maria Francisca Perello welcomed a son in Mallorca on Saturday, October 8. Nadal will however return to tennis in Paris later this months where the last Masters 1000 event of the calendar year is played before the procedure on the ATP tour to the final next month in Turin. However, Andy Murray has made a big statement ahead of Nadal’s return, questioning how the Spaniard’s level of tennis will be affected after he becomes a father.

The news of Nadal becoming a father marks a remarkable year for the Spaniard, both professionally and personally. Despite concerns about injuries and all the talk of retirement, Nadal took two Grand Slam titles – Australian Open and French Open – while on the cusp of reclaiming the world’s No. 1 ranking.

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The 36-year-old was also the only member of the Big Four not to have children. Roger Federer has two twins, Murray has four children and Novak Djokovic has a son and a daughter. In the run-up to the Gijon Open, Murray spoke to the press about Nadal’s incredible year before questioning whether the 22-time Slam winner would return with the same level of intensity as before.

“The Australian Open was a great event for him who came back from a long time without participating. The way he won with such tough games along the way, he really could have lost a few. In the final he was ready – two sets behind, 3-2 and 0/40… And the management to give him the return was great. In the French Open, it was not a big surprise to me with the record he has there,” the world number 48 told Cadena SER after arriving in Spain for the Gijon Open.

He added: “And I think he also had his first child with his partner a few days ago. It will be interesting to see if he increases the level of motivation or decreases it by competing, I don’t know, but hey, he’s had a great year this year.”

Nadal has been eliminated since leaving the US Open last month, although he did play alongside Federer in his farewell match at the Laver Cup. But Nadal is expected to return to action for the Paris Masters before going on an exhibition tour in South America with Casper Ruud.

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