Our 5 Favorite Dads in Tennis
The tennis world received happy news when John Isner and his wife, Madison McKinley, announced they are expecting their first child. He’s set to join the ATP Tour’s Dad Club — an exclusive group of players whose children are their biggest fans. Inspired by John’s announcement, we want to take a look at some of the other dads playing pro tennis.
The former World #1 and three-time Grand Slam champion has two children: daughter Sophia, born February 2016, and a second baby girl born in November 2017. Murray is notoriously private about his personal life, but has stated that his wife, Kim Sears, and his two children have given him motivation to successfully complete his current comeback from a series of injuries. We hope he’ll be able to return to the tour soon and fulfill his dream of playing tennis while his daughters watch from the stands.
Argentina’s Leonardo Mayer, who has reached a career-high ranking of 21 and won two ATP titles, became a father with wife Milagros in January 2017. He made a surprise run to win the title in Hamburg later that year, and dedicated the victory to his son, Valentino. On his popular Twitter account, Mayer referred to his son as “my greatest accomplishment… the rest comes and goes.”
Con mi mayor logro en brazos…lo demas va y viene. pic.twitter.com/CWvXAe05wr
— Leo Mayer (@YacaMayer) July 30, 2017
Gilles Muller, the big-serving lefty from Luxembourg, has two sons who are consistently present at his matches on tour. In January 2017, when he won his first title in Sydney at the age of 34, Muller was joined by sons Lenny and Nils on the court for an emotional trophy ceremony. His heartfelt victory speech, in which he recognized his wife and kids as his biggest supporters, was one of the most memorable personal moments of the season.
In September 2017, Novak Djokovic welcomed his second child, Tara. His son, Stefan, was born in 2014, and has been known to hit the practice courts with his father. Novak is known as a devoted father and committed family man, but he’s also made an effort to help children all over the world. In 2011, he worked as a UNICEF ambassador and made a $100,000 donation to support disadvantaged children in Serbia and around the world. By 2013, the Novak Djokovic foundation had raised $2.5 million for underprivileged children and early-childhood education, and its efforts continue to this day.
No tennis player is as strongly associated with fatherhood as Roger Federer — and not just because of his advanced age or corny Twitter jokes. Roger and Mirka Federer have two sets of identical twins: Lenny and Leo (born 2014) and Charlene and Myla (born 2009). All four of the young Federers can often be seen cheering on their father during Grand Slam tournaments. We’d love to see what the kids could do as doubles partners one day, but Federer has said he won’t force them to play tennis. Their future may be in business: At the 2018 Indian Wells BNP Paribas Open, Federer told reporters of a successful lemonade stand his kids had opened in the neighborhood.
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