Rafael Nadal has a milestone year ahead of him as the 22-time Grand Slam champion is not only intending on taking part in Wimbledon for the first time in three years, but he is also due to become a father for the first time.
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Tennis fans were delighted at the star's joyous family news after he revealed at a press conference in Mallorca on Friday that his wife Mery Perello is pregnant with their first child. The 36-year-old touched upon his family's joy after being congratulated.
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"If all goes well, I'm going to be a father," he told reporters. "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."
This will be the first child for Rafael and his wife Mery Perello, who have been in a committed relationship for 17 years and married in October 2019.
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Rafael and Mery have been together for 20 years
Rafa previously hinted to HELLO! that he would love to have children with Mery, explaining: "Obviously, I have the intention of forming a family. I love children and I would like my children to do what they like."
It's not the only time Rafa has shared his desire to become a father, having previously shared with The Sun: "I would love to have children: boys, girls… I’m a person who loves kids and I’m a family guy."
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It's not confirmed what fatherhood will mean for Rafa's future tennis career. The Spanish player previously expressed his concerns about parenthood coinciding with his training.
He told The Sun: "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.
The tennis champion admits he was waiting for the right time to have children
"I think it’s also above all about looking after the kids. I don’t know if it [travelling throughout the year and having children] is ideal." he added.
Rafa is due to play his next match at Wimbledon 2022 on Thursday 30 June 2022.
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