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Rafael Nadal supported by wife Maria Francisca Perello and rarely-seen baby son in sweet moment

The Spanish tennis champion is competing in the Madrid Open

Sharnaz Shahid
Deputy Online Editor
April 26, 2024
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Rafael Nadal's Madrid Open farewell has kicked off to a brilliant start after his straight-set win over American teenager Darwin Blanch on Thursday. 

Despite his victory, there were some very important guests in the audience which will have no doubt been appreciated by the 22 Grand Slam winner. His beautiful wife Maria Francisca Perello was seen cheering from the stands with their bubbly baby son Rafael Jr sitting on her lap. 

Rafael Nadal celebrates© Getty
Rafael Nadal celebrates after winning the match against Darwin Blanch at the Madrid Open

The mother-and-son duo looked happy as they watched 37-year-old Rafael in action. They were also joined by the sports star's sister Maribel in the box. 

In his post-match chat, Rafael admitted that he wished he could play further into his career in order to create more memories for his son. 

"I would love to play a little bit longer and give him (Rafael Jr) a memory of myself playing tennis," he said. "That's what will be the ideal thing for me and for my wife and family. 

Maria Francisca Perello holds baby son © Getty
The tennis star was supported by his wife Maria Francisca Perello and their baby son Rafael Jr

"But I can't, probably I will not be able to make that happen. But at least, I mean I'm happy to have a great team and family and friends around me almost all my life. It helped me in every single way of being happy." 

On reflection, he added: "Today is not an exception. I still have a great family, great team, and friends from ever since I was a child. That makes me happy, and in some way, makes me feel great that they are here. 

"Hopefully they're going to keep being next to me in the future after my tennis career, and that makes me feel great and super happy." 

Rafael Nadal plays tennis© Getty
The couple welcomed their first child in 2022

Rafael will soon play Australian Alex de Minaur, who beat him in the second round of the Barcelona Open last week, in the next round. 

The appearance comes shortly after Rafael and his wife Maria received the Laureus Sport for Good Award for the Rafael Nadal Foundation at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Madrid on Monday. 

The couple, who tied the knot in 2019 in a romantic ceremony in Majorca after 14 years of dating, welcomed their son in October 2022. 

Rafa Nadal and wife Maria Francisca Perello hold award© Getty
Rafa and his wife Maria received an award for the Rafa Nadal Foundation on Monday

Spanish publication Diario de Mallorca confirmed the news, and wrote: "Both the mum and her baby, born in the 37th week of her pregnancy, are doing well. The birth took place in a private clinic on the island where Mery had to remain under observation and rest completely in the last few weeks." 

Although the tennis player prefers to keep details of his personal life private, Rafael previously opened up about what it might be like to be a father. 

Prior to the birth, the double Olympic champion told reporters back: "If all goes well, I'm going to be a father. 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."

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