WATCH: Precious moment as Rafael Nadal kisses his son during practice

Shahida Jacobs
Rafael Nadal's wife Maria Francisca Perello and son Rafa Nadal Jr
Maria Francisco Perello wife of Rafael Nadal of Spain watches a practice session with their son

Rafael Nadal’s son, Rafael Jr, once again stole the limelight when he attended his father’s practice session at Foro Italico in Rome.

Tennis great Nadal was preparing for his first-round match at the Italian Open earlier in the week when his wife Maria Francisca Perello and son turned up at training.

After finding some empty space to sit down on the opposite side of the court, baby Nadal was seen holding his now accustomed miniature tennis racket and was given a ball by a bystander to complete the set.

But the best moment came when tennis great Nadal strolled over to his family to give his son a kiss on the cheek, although the 18-month-old toddler appeared to be more interested in the tennis ball than his father’s affection.

The 10-time Italian Open champion will face Zizou Bergs in his opening match in Rome on Thursday.

After initially keeping a low-profile after giving birth in October 2022, Perello and Rafa Jr have been regular visitors to the 22-time Grand Slam winner’s tennis matches since the start of the year.

They made the trip to Australia to watch Nadal in action at the Brisbane International and also made appearances at Netflix Slam in Las Vegas as well as last month’s Barcelona Open and Madrid Open.

The tennis great admitted during the ATP Masters 1000 event in Madrid that he wants to play more matches in front of his son, saying: “Well, I would love to play a little bit longer and give him a memory of myself playing tennis.

“That’s what will be the ideal thing for me and for my wife and family.”

The Spaniard added: “Probably I will not be able to make that happen. But at least I’m happy to have a great team and family and friends around me during all my life that helped me in every single way of being happy.

“Today is not an exception. I still have a great family, great team, and friends from ever since I was a child, a small kid.

“That makes me happy, and that, in some way, makes me feel great that they are here, but hopefully they’re gonna keep being next to me in the future after my tennis career, and that makes me feel great and super happy.”

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