Wimbledon tennis star Marcus Willis has revealed he is to become a dad – and that the baby was conceived during the tournament. Brit Marcus, 25, and fiancee Jenny Bate, 30, shared their happy news in an exclusive interview and photoshoot in this week's HELLO! Magazine at the couple's home near Stratford-upon-Avon. "It's a dream come true, I'm really excited. Wimbledon was amazing but this is the best thing to come out of it," said Marcus, who had been set to quit tennis when he met Jenny in February, but she persuaded him to keep playing.
Marcus became a national hero at the tournament when, despite being ranked only at number 772, he beat Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis and made it through to the second round to face seven-times champion Roger Federer on Centre Court. Divorced mother-of-two Jenny, whose baby is due on 12 March, reveals: "We think the baby was conceived after the Berankis game. We were in the Evian lounge and the champagne flowed but I felt giddy after half a glass. I thought, 'No way.' We'd been careful. But I just knew. I knew Marcus planned to propose but I didn't want him to know I was pregnant. I didn't want people thinking that was why he was proposing." Speaking about their whirlwind romance, Jenny said: "We haven't known each other that long but some people spend years getting to know each other and things can still go well or badly."
The pregnancy was confirmed with a test. "I have never seen his face light up more. He said, 'This is the best news, it's better than Wimbledon.' I couldn't have wished for a better reaction," Jenny explained. Marcus added: "I was over the moon and cried tears of happiness." "It was a lot to take in, especially after Wimbledon." his fiancee explained. "We have wondered if we should call the baby Roger or something Wimbledon-related. But we thought no, we'll stick to a normal name. We'll decide when we see its little face." She added: "It's been a crazy year. First we met, then Wimbledon happened, now the baby. It's a lot to take in but we've never been happier."
Speaking about her two sons' reactions to the news, she said: "They're so excited. They keep talking to my tummy and playing it music. The boys have instantly bonded with Marcus. Kids naturally gravitate towards him. He's got such a lovely manner and is so patient. He's very giving and genuine. I don't see my ex very often but he wanted to meet Marcus and he adores him. He sees the bond the boys have with Marcus. He's going to be a fantastic dad." After two boys, does Jenny want a girl? She said: "People ask if I want a girl and I say no, I just want a healthy, happy baby."
Marcus spoke about being in a dark place before meeting Jenny, explaining: "I was in a really low place; I didn't want to get out of bed. I wasn't thinking I'd meet a girl, I just wanted to sort myself out. But we hit it off straight away. I've never met anyone like Jenny. I thought, ‘I'd love to have this girl forever.' From the start I wanted to marry and have children with her, though we didn't think it would happen this quickly. But when you know, you know… It will be a constant learning curve and I'll get millions of things wrong but as long as my child is happy then that's my job done right… If I hadn't met Jenny I'd be coaching in Philadelphia now. I've always gone with my gut feeling. That's the way I work and it's clearly working for me now."