Rafael Nadal admitted on Tuesday that leaving his wife and newborn son back home in Mallorca has made this week’s trip to the Paris Masters especially emotional.
The 36-year-old Spaniard who has four semi-finals and a 2007 final against David Nalbandian at the Bercy arena said leaving his family – even travelling to a neighboring country – was a new and draining experience.
He begins as second seed behind teenaged compatriot Carlos Alcaraz after a bye at the final event of the ATP regular season prior to his participation in the season finals next month.
“Even after two or three weeks, leaving your son at home and not being able to see him, it’s something quite interesting. You start missing him,” Nadal said.
“All the changes are difficult in this life, and you need to adapt to them. But at the same time it’s true that we are lucky today that with the technology we can do video calls anytime.”
Nadal’s schedule has been almost non-existent after losing in the US Open fourth round two months ago, with his only outing a lightning visit to London in September for Roger Federer’s retirement at the Laver Cup.
And Nadal admits there are no predictions as to how he will pull up once on court.
“Let’s see on the competitive level how I manage. It’s easier to know how the things are going when you are playing tournaments in a row.
“When you are coming back from a period of time outside of the competition, it’s difficult to know how you’re going to be playing, how your body’s gonna respond.
“It’s true that it has been an amazing year in terms of results, but at the same time it’s been a tough year in terms of injuries.
“I’m just excited to be here, I’m here to try my best. Hopefully I will be ready for tomorrow.
“I’m gonna try to be competitive – I’m excited about it.”