Novak Djokovic has extended his congratulations to Rafa Nadal after news emerged on Saturday that he and wife Xisca had welcomed their first child.
A number of Spanish publications reported on Saturday that Xisca had given birth to a baby boy – named Rafael after his father.
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“Both the mum and her baby, born in the 37th week of her pregnancy, are doing well,” Majorcan news outlet Diario de Mallorca reported.
“The birth took place in a private clinic on the island where ‘Mery’ (Xisca) had to remain under observation and rest completely in the last few weeks.”
Djokovic was informed of the news while playing at the Astana Open in Kazakhstan.
“Congrats! I didn’t know. Really? It’s a beautiful news. I wish his wife and baby a lot of health and happiness,” he told reporters.
However Djokovic, who has two children of his won with wife Jelena, wasn’t willing to offer any fatherly advice to his rival.
“As a father, I’m not going to give any advice,” Djokovic said with a smile.
“He has a big family. I’m sure he will experience himself.”
Djokovic and Nadal have had their ups and downs over the years, with the nature of their relationship off the court largely a mystery.
The great rivals put on a united front while playing together for Team Europe at the recent Laver Cup, which served as the final event of Roger Federer’s storied career.
However they haven’t always seen eye-to-eye, with Nadal recently saying Djokovic only had himself to blame for missing the US Open due to his refusal to get the Covid-19 jab.
Nadal also expressed similar sentiments when Djokovic was deported from Australia ahead of the first grand slam of the year in January, which Nadal went on to win.
The Spaniard also won the French Open in May, taking the outright lead in the men’s all-time grand slam race with 22 career majors.
Djokovic then won Wimbledon in July to move within one of Nadal on 21.
Novak Djokovic wins 90th career title at Astana Open
Meanwhile, Djokovic claimed the 90th ATP Tour title of his illustrious career after landing the Astana Open crown with a straight-sets victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas on Sunday.
The Serbian also secured a place at next month’s ATP Finals in Turin after prevailing 6-3 6-4 in just 75 minutes.
It was Djokovic’s fourth piece of silverware of the season – adding to his triumphs in Wimbledon, Rome and Tel Aviv – and stretched his winning streak to nine matches.
The 21-time major winner had prevailed in each of his last six encounters with Tsitsipas and claimed a crucial break in the eighth game of the opening set, before serving it out to draw first blood.
Seeking his maiden ATP 500 title at the ninth attempt, Tsitsipas was aiming to join Djokovic in becoming only the second male player to win a tour-level title on all three surfaces this season.
However, the Greek ace hit 25 unforced errors throughout the contest to his opponent’s seven, and was broken again in game five of the second set.
Djokovic, who won 33 of his 38 first-serve points and did not face a single break point, subsequently sealed victory with a brilliant backhand winner to make it back-to-back titles following last week’s triumph in Israel.
“I always hoped that I would be going to have a great career. Obviously didn’t know the amount of finals I was going to play, the amount of tournaments I was going to win, but my intention was always to reach the highest heights in our sport,” said the 35-year-old.
“I’m just very grateful and blessed to be able to play this well at this stage of my life.
“I think the experience, probably, in these kinds of matches and big occasions helps as well to approach mentally in the right way.
“I could not ask for a better restart of the season. I’m super-pumped and motivated to end the season as well as I have done these past couple of weeks.”
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