Tennis legend Rafael Nadal has become a member of the dads’ league.
The star player and his partner of 17 years, Maria Perelló, welcome their first baby since they tied the knot in a high-profile ceremony in 2019.
The new babe was welcomed to the world in a private clinic on the island of Mallorca. Per reports, both the mother and the child are in good health.
Perelló was rumored to be pregnant when she was spotted sporting what seemed to be a baby bump on several occasions. Her partner later confirmed to reporters in June this year that they were really expecting a child.
The Mother And Baby Are Doing Well
Nadal and his wife Perelló welcomed their first baby, per the Spanish newspaper Diario de Mallorca. The publication reported that the child, a son, was born on the island of Mallorca over the weekend.
“Both the mum and her baby, born in the 37th week of her pregnancy, are doing well,” a source close to the family said, per Daily Mail. “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.’
News of the child’s birth comes months after the tennis player announced that he and his wife were expecting during a press conference in Mallorca in June amid rumors of her pregnancy.
At the time, he told the reporters: “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.”
Rafael Nadal’s Wife Was Spotted With A Baby Bulge
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Speculations that Perelló was expecting a child began to spread when she was spotted on the boat where she and Nadal were vacationing, sporting what seemed to be a baby bulge under her bikini.
She was recently spotted wearing baggy clothing to the Liverpool vs. Real Madrid Champions League final, which fueled even more rumors. The former sports marketer also drew attention when she donned loose-fitting clothes to the Roland Garros competition to watch her partner play.
Prior to the birth of their child, Nadal and Perello had been married for three years after dating for fourteen years. The tennis ace proposed to his childhood sweetheart in 2018 before tying the knot in a high-profile ceremony in 2019.
Among those in attendance at the wedding was Juan Carlos I, the king of Spain from 1975 to 2014, who has a longstanding friendship with the multi-grand slam winner.
Rafael Nadal Explains Why He Held Off From Child Bearing
Nadal and Perelló’s recent baby news has been a long-awaited development, given that the pair had been together for a long while. Per Daily Mail, the tennis player gave insight into why he and his partner held off from childbearing for a long time, citing that his tennis career had made it difficult to think about starting a family.
He said at the time, “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.”
In a previous interview with Essentially Sports, he shared that the decision also depended on his partner. “I have a girlfriend too, and I am not alone in take decisions [sic],” he told the publication in 2018, per Daily Mail.
Rafael Nadal Might Struggle Balancing Fatherhood With Tennis
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In the meantime, Nadal’s uncle has shared that the new father will struggle will juggling his fatherhood responsibilities and playing tennis ahead of January’s Australian Open.
“He[Nadal] is doing well, he is animated, waiting now, he knows that there is little to go, and he is looking forward to everything going well,” Toni said, per Express. “Mery had to rest, but nothing in particular.”
Since the US Open, Nadal has not participated in an official tour tournament because Perello reportedly had complications with her first pregnancy. Given that he is still registered for the Paris Masters 1000 and has qualified for the ATP Finals, it is currently unknown whether the 22-time Grand Slam winner will play more matches this season.