Rafael Nadal has announced his wife Mery Perello is expecting their first child.
The tennis ace, 36, confirmed the news at a press conference in Mallorca on Friday following rumours that she was pregnant earlier this week.
Nadal, who is taking part in Wimbledon for the first time in three years later this month, told reporters: ‘If all goes well, I’m going to be a father.’
Long-term loves: The couple dated for 14 years before they tied the knot at a British-owned fortress in Majorca in 2019
‘I’m not used to talking about my private life. We live calmer with a lower profile. I don’t expect that my life will change much with it.’
It was reported earlier this week in the Spanish tabloids that Mery was pregnant with their first baby, according to magazine Hola!
The beauty was sporting what appeared to be a baby bump under her swimsuit on board the yacht where she and Nadal are enjoying a holiday.
There has been intense speculation Rafael’s childhood sweetheart was expecting after she started wearing more loose-fitting clothes and donned a face mask at the recent Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid.
Happy news: It came after reports from Spanish magazine Hola! that his wife Mery Perello, 33, is reportedly pregnant with their first child (pictured on June 3)
They are currently relaxing off Majorca with a group of friends on board the ‘Great White, the 78-foot £4.2 million Sunroof Power catamaran Rafael had custom-built two years ago.
Mery, also known as Xisca, gave up a job in insurance to become project director for the Rafael Nadal Foundation, the charity he founded more than ten years ago.
She is well-known as an incredibly private person. The estate the Spanish couple picked to marry, La Fortaleza overlooking the bay of Pollensa in north-east Majorca, was where Real Madrid star Gareth Bale tied the knot with Emma Rhys-Jones in June 2019 as part of a three-day celebration.
The couple, who had already been dating 14 years before they wed, were married by priest Tomeu Catala in front of 350 guests at the stunning fortress, owned by Conservative party donor Lord Lupton.
Juan Carlos I, the king of Spain from 1975 to 2014, was among those in attendance at the wedding as he is a longstanding friend of the tennis ace.
Congratulations! The tennis ace, 36, confirmed at a press conference in Mallorca on Friday that his wife Mery (both pictured in February 2018) is pregnant with their first child
At the ceremony, Rafael looked dapper in a navy tailored suit and white shirt, while Mery wore a long-sleeved gown designed by acclaimed bridal wear designer Rosa Clará.
Proving to be quite a highly sought out A-list destination, La Fortaleza is also where the acclaimed BBC thriller The Night Manager, starring Tom Hiddleston, Hugh Laurie and Olivia Colman, was filmed.
Overlooking the bay of Pollensa in north-east Majorca, La Fortaleza was bought by Lord Lupton in 2011 for £30million, despite the original £75million asking price.
The original fort, which is now Spain’s most expensive property, was built in 1628 to defend Majorca against invaders.
Big news: He told the press conference, ‘I’m not used to talking about my private life. We live calmer with a lower profile. I don’t expect that my life will change much with it’
Rafael revealed in January 2019 that he was engaged to his long-term girlfriend Mery following a 14 year courtship.
Hello’s sister publication HOLA! revealed that Spanish athlete proposed to Mery in May of 2018 during a romantic trip to Rome.
However, they reported that the couple decided to keep the happy news private for the first eight months of their engagement.
Mery, born Maria Francisca Perello, is an insurance worker and business graduate.
And Rafael has previosuly made no secret of his desire to have children, saying he is a ‘family guy’ and is looking forward to having his own brood in the not too distant future.
Practice: Nadal worked up a sweat on Friday as he took part in a training session at Santa Ponsa Country Club in Mallorca
But the dedicated sportsman admitted his tennis career had made it difficult to think about starting a family in the past.
He said: ‘I would love to have children, boys, girls… I’m a person who loves kids and I’m a family guy.
‘But also I tell you that the reality is, the years keep passing, I would like to start to do all of this when my sporting life determines it.’
He told Essentially Sports, at the end of 2018: ‘I have a girlfriend too and I am not alone to take decisions.(sic)
‘You have to suit situations you know. Having family? I don’t know, things are not easy to be predicted. At this age, I thought that I would have already been a former player and that I would have started a family.’
Romance: The couple (pictured in May 2015), who had already been dating 14 years before they wed, were married by priest Tomeu Catala in 2019
Mery, who is well-known as an incredibly private person, also spoke about her relationship with the tennis champ back in 2011.
She told The Telegraph in a rare interview: ‘Travelling together everywhere, even if I could, would not be good either for him or for me.
‘He needs his space when he is competing, and just the idea of me hanging around waiting on his needs all day wears me out. It would asphyxiate me.
‘And then he would have to be worrying about me … No. If I followed him everywhere, I think there’s a risk we might stop getting along.’
At Friday’s press conference, Nadal also confirmed that he is planning to play at Wimbledon as he aims for a third consecutive Grand Slam win. ‘My intention is to play Wimbledon,’ he added.
Tennis star: The 36-year-old tennis ace – fresh from his 22nd Grand Slam win at the French Open – looked on fine form as he returned a serve on the court
‘I have trained well this week and my departure on Monday for London is to that effect. My foot situation must be evaluated day after day, so at this moment I don’t have this certainty of being able to play.
‘I just know that I want to play the tournament, but we must also be careful. Now it’s too early to give a definitive answer.
‘In the first days I had complicated feelings, day after day I got better. One more week of training in London and I hope to be able to play at Wimbledon and to be competitive to do so.’
The tennis player looked fresh from his 22nd Grand Slam win at the French Open – looked on fine form as he returned a serve on the court.
Rafael dressed accordingly for the session, donning a beige T-shirt which he teamed with navy shorts, green trainers and a white cap worn backwards.
Sporty: Rafael dressed accordingly for the session, donning a beige T-shirt which he teamed with navy shorts, green trainers and a white cap worn backwards
The sportsman later changed into a white polo shirt and tan shorts as he gave a press conference at the club.
Rafael’s uncle and ex-trainer Toni Nadal said last week he was confident the 36-year-old would play at Wimbledon later this month despite his injury problems.
The two-times Wimbledon winner has been undergoing treatment for Muller-Weiss syndrome, the chronic injury he was diagnosed with in 2005 in his left foot.
He had his foot numbed to capture his 14th French Open and 22nd Grand Slam title earlier this month and has not ruled out retirement if he fails to overcome his injury problems.
Freshened up: The sportsman later changed into a white polo shirt and tan shorts as he gave a press conference at the club
Family? Happy news: The beauty was sporting what appeared to be a baby bump under her swimsuit on board the yacht where she and the 22-times Grand Slam winner are enjoying a holiday (pictured on June 6)