Roberto Bautista Agut: 'Becoming a father recovered bond I lost when parents died' - Players' Voice
In the latest edition of Players’ Voice, the Spaniard shares how tennis, his lifelong love of horses and parenthood have helped him through the hard times he’s faced. In 2020, he celebrated the birth of his son, Mini Rober, and has since continued his consistent form into 2021, appearing in ATP finals in Montpellier and Qatar.
Amidst losing both of his parents, Ester and Joaquin, he achieved his best Grand Slam result to date with a run to the 2019 Wimbledon semi-finals, reached a career-high of world No.9, played an unmissable part in Spain’s Davis Cup victory and married his teenage sweetheart, Ana.
In 2020, he celebrated the birth of his son, Mini Rober, and has since continued his consistent form into 2021, appearing in ATP finals in Montpellier and Qatar, and making the final four of the Miami Open.
I’ve had to fight for a lot throughout my whole life. When I was younger and dreamt of becoming a tennis player, I fought for it even when some people didn’t believe I had what it would take. Then when I broke into the top 100, I kept pushing and it didn’t take long before I found myself up against the best players.
I’ve been sitting high in the rankings for some seasons now and the most important thing for me is that I found a way to keep fighting.
What happened with my parents was terrible and I try to not think about it because I feel I could lose my mind.
Of course, there are many days when I think about them and the truth is, it’s been really hard. But tennis has taught me to keep fighting, to get up after the bad times, so that’s exactly what I did.
Roberto Bautista Agut defeats Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime in 2019 Davis Cup final three days after his father’s passing
Image credit: Getty Images
When I look back at that time, there were a few moments when I just wanted to stop but I instantly rediscovered that fighting spirit. So I kept playing and, even when the pandemic hit, I still trained lots.
Tennis doesn’t let you stop, it’s ingrained in your mentality. But without the routines that come with playing on the Tour, it gave me the opportunity to live Ana’s pregnancy with her at home and spend time with my horses at the stables. They have been my engine, and the huge passion I feel for them has definitely helped me through the bad times.
Becoming a father last September has been one of the most incredible experiences of my life so far, if not the best. I feel that the family bond I lost when my parents passed has been recovered by entering this new chapter of life with Ana and my child.
Family has always been the most important thing for me by far; the love you feel for your loved ones is incomparable. I felt this even before my parents passed; every time I came home and noticed they were gradually getting older, I made a mental note to enjoy every little moment I spent with them and that mindset stays with me now.
Recently, Ana and Mini Rober joined me on Tour during the Middle East swing which was really special. It’s beautiful seeing your child grow because they’re in continuous evolution; day by day they edge one step closer to the person they will become.
If there’s anything I could pass down to him, it would be my stubbornness! I believe that persistence to keep fighting for things is a very good thing and an important way of overcoming difficult obstacles. Those are the times which I think ultimately help you grow as a person.
That can be said for all things in life - both big and small. The fact I wasn’t playing my best tennis in Australia motivated me to train much harder, and as a result, I’m now feeling really good on court, beating top 10 players and starting to feel those positive sensations that come with winning again.
Roberto Bautista Agut beats world No.2 Daniil Medvedev in Miami Open quarter-finals
Image credit: Getty Images
When I think back to Wimbledon two years ago when I reached the semi-finals, I lived it the way I had always dreamt it; those two weeks were honestly a dream come true.
Emulating that would be incredible, but the most important thing for me right now is maintaining my best level, enjoying my time on court and sharing the success and memories with my family.