Baby on Court: A Tale of Players Who Parent
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic will make a post-paternity return to tennis on Tuesday in Paris-Bercy. The Wimbledon champion welcomed son Stefan with wife Jelena on Thursday.
The city of Belgrade was equally amped.
The Serb opens against German Philipp Kohlschreiber at the BNP Paribas Masters. With Roger Federer hot on his heels for the No. 1 ranking, the new father finds himself doing double duty this week as the ATP season builds toward its World Tour Final finale.
Yet, Djokovic’s situation is hardly unique. Several of the last decade’s most memorable figures have been able to make their mark on the court while molding young minds at the same time. Read on for some of the most successful player-parents:
The former No. 2 became a father during an extended hiatus from the sport, recovering from right hip and shoulder injuries when wife Sara Foster gave birth to daughter Valentina. Spurred on by fatherhood, Haas made another comeback that saw him get within striking distance of the Top 10. With his daughter watching from the stands, the German upended No. 1 Djokovic in Miami en route to the semifinals in 2013, and reached his first-ever French Open quarterfinal a few months later. Through a career full of ups and downs, being a parent has undoubtedly introduced a much-needed source of stability.
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