Roger Federer will be quickly reunited with his family after an opening-round defeat to Jeremy Chardy in Rome, his first tournament after becoming a father to a second set of twins just over a week ago.
Federer returned to Rome after missing Madrid for the births, which were a week earlier than expected. Federer, who dropped a third-set tiebreaker to the Frenchman, said he was frustrated walking off the court, but, "now I just want to go home."
Before the tournament, the 17-time Grand Slam champion said he had not found it easy to leave his wife, Mirka, and the kids, back at Switzerland.
He told the Daily Telegraph, "It’s an unbelievable time, so much more interesting than just winning a tournament or anything. That is so, like, secondary. It’s really exciting times now and you just want to be in touch and know everything that’s going on. I’m calling her all the time and she’s calling me and it’s really, really beautiful."
Federer also talked about his surprise at finding out that the two were expecting twins once more.
"Wow, I can’t believe it, it’s really happening again," he said. “But I always felt that there was a chance. My sister Diana has twins, a boy and a girl. And my grandmother on my mum’s side was a twin apparently. So I guess that we jumped a generation.
"It is pretty extraordinary. But I don’t feel special because of it. In fact I believe that it’s more to do with Mirka, but the doctors might tell you otherwise."
He added that they are waiting to see if the new arrivals, Leo and Lenny, are identical twins, like their older sisters. In the meantime, the family has been overwhelmed by messages and visitors.
"I got so many messages and congratulations. It’s nice to see that people are happy for me, and especially for Mirka, because she did the hard work," he said. "At the same time, people who know us, they try to give new parents some space because it is so intimate. We have had a lot of friends coming to visit the boys and Myla and Charlene, and also Mirka in particular. It has been very nice. I have loved it."
Federer will now return there before setting out for the French Open, where he hopes the whole family will join him. He is fully prepared to take on the challenge of traveling with four kids.
"I’m aware it’s going to be a lot of work," said Federer. "My plan is that they can also come on tour, and this time around at least we kind of know how to handle kids on the road."