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Tennis legend Rafael Nadal expecting first child with wife Mery Perello after 17 years together-Emily Bashforth-Entertainment – Metro

‘I’m going to be a father!’

Tennis legend Rafael Nadal expecting first child with wife Mery Perello after 17 years together-Emily Bashforth-Entertainment – Metro

Congratulations to the happy couple! (Picture: REX/Splash)

Tennis pro Rafael Nadal is expecting his first child with his wife Mery Perello.

The couple are childhood sweethearts and have been together for 17 years.

Mery – who also goes by Xisca – left her job in insurance to join her husband’s charity, the Rafael Nadal Foundation, which he set up 10 years ago and where she now works as a project director.

The sports icon shared the happy news that their little family is expanding at a press conference in Mallorca on Friday.

Nadal – who is taking part in Wimbledon later this month for the first time in three years – told press: ‘If all goes well, I’m going to be a father.’

The famously private star added: ‘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.’

Nadal and Mery have been together for 17 years (Picture: Shutterstock)

His announcement follows speculation of Mery’s pregnancy, which Spanish tabloid Hola! reported earlier this week.

Photos showed Mery boarding a yacht while holidaying with her husband, wearing a swimsuit with what appeared to be a blossoming bump underneath.

She has also been seen sporting loose-fitting clothing recently, but this is the first time the couple have spoken on their forthcoming arrival.

Nadal and Mery wed in Spanish estate La Fortaleza in 2019, with a lavish, star-studded ceremony.

The stunning venue overlooked the bay of Pollensa in north-east Majorca, which is also the location where Real Madrid star Gareth Bale married Emma Rhys-Jones in 2019.

Nadal and Mery were married by priest Tomeu Catala in front of 350 guests at the fortress, owned by Conservative party donor Lord Lupton.

Nadal has previously spoken about his desire to start a family (Picture: Angel Martinez/Getty)

The tennis champ will no doubt be bursting with excitement to welcome a child, having previously made no secret of wanting to start a family.

He’s previously spoken about being a ‘family guy’ and ‘a person who loves kids.’

However, he’s also been wary of his career causing disruption to his home life, saying he wanted to settle down ‘when my sporting life determines it.’

Nadal also told Essentially Sports in late 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.’

Nadal returns to Wimbledon this month following his French Open win (Picture: Andy Cheung/Getty)

Mery tends to keep away from the spotlight but, in 2011, spoke about her relationship with Nadal, telling The Telegraph in a rare interview that she doesn’t like to ‘follow’ him everywhere when he’s competing as he ‘needs space.’

‘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,’ she said.

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‘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.’

Wimbledon starts again on June 27, where Nadal will be hoping to emerge victorious following his French Open victory.

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