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Tennis’ Distinguished Dads’ Club

Jun 18, 2017
written by: Tennis Canada
written by: Tennis Canada
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For ATP players—and most Canadians—Father’s Day is the perfect opportunity to spend time with the family and the dads they love. It’s also a moment to rest and tend to injuries. The pros who have children will be celebrated and pampered. Indeed, many elite players aren’t just athletes: they’re also devoted fathers. On top of their draining matches and hours of training, players including Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka and Rogers Federer are also on daddy duty.

Of course, there’s the first family of tennis: the Federers. Their eldest set of twins, Myla Rose and Charlene Riva, will be eight this summer. The girls’ brothers, Lenny and Leo, turned three just a few months ago. Sounds like a dream mixed doubles final, right?

With his childhood sweetheart Jelena Ristic and their two-year-old son Stefan, Novak Djokovic takes being a father very seriously: “This is the most beautiful and the hardest but the most important job we have in life.” And Nole will soon be starting all over again for the second time. The couple found out the happy news earlier this year.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Fabio Fognini and Andy Murray joined the club more recently. Tsonga is perhaps the newest member since his partner Noura El Shwekh gave birth to their son this spring. For Jo, it’s a dream come true: “Having a child is something I’d always wanted. Today, I can say I’m a proud father.”

World no.1 Andy Murray became a dad last year when he and his wife Kim Sears welcomed Sophia Olivia in February 2016. The Brit admitted that it isn’t always easy to balance Grand Slams and family time but added that becoming a father was the best thing that’s ever happened to him.

On May 19, Fabio Fognini and Flavia Pennetta, who earned 11 WTA titles including the 2015 US Open crown before retiring from tennis, welcomed Frederico. Currently ranked world no.29, Fognini isn’t shy about showing off his young son on social media.

So who’ll be the next dad on the Tour? Maybe Milos Raonic? The Ontarian has been in a relationship with model Danielle Knudson since 2014. Or maybe ten-time French Open winner Rafael Nadal? He and his partner Maria Francisca (Xisca) Perello have been together since they were teenagers. In July, Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic and Ester Satorova will be celebrating two years of marriage. It’s anyone’s guess!

Happy Father’s Day!