The tennis world has erupted after Rafael Nadal and his wife, Mery ‘Xisca’ Perello announced the safe arrival of their first child.
According to reports in Spanish press, Perello gave birth to a baby boy in a private clinic on Sunday, with both mother and child reportedly doing well.
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The couple announced they were expecting a baby boy back in September, but are yet to make any comment themselves on the baby’s arrival.
“Both the mum and her baby, born in the 37th week of her pregnancy, are doing well,” Majorcan news outlet Diario de Mallorca reported.
“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.”
The couple kept a tight led on their pregnancy until June, when it became clear they were expecting a child with a baby bump visible soon after the French Open.
The couple married in 2019 after being together for 14 years beforehand.
The news was welcomed by tennis fans on social media.
“Our champ has reached a new step in his life, surely the most important,” one fan wrote.
“Beside being the tennis player and the legend of this sport, he is an unbelievable human and seeing him happy and able to build a beautiful family is amazing for us!”
Nadal has previously admitted his sporting career could potentially begin to take a back seat come the time he and Perello start a family.
“I would love to have children, boys, girls… I’m a person who loves kids and I’m a family guy,” he said.
“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.”
Nadal made a stunning return to the grand slam world at the beginning of year, winning the Australian Open over Daniil Medvedev in a brilliant comeback after sitting out much of 2021 with injuries.
Rafa Nadal’s reason for early exit from Laver Cup
A few weeks ago, Nadal followed Roger Federer’s lead and withdrew from the Laver Cup after just one doubles match, flying home to Spain to be with Perello.
Federer had always flagged his intentions to only play the opening doubles match in London, saying his surgically-repaired knee wasn’t up to the rigours of singles competition.
Nadal’s withdrawal came as somewhat of a surprise, with Team Europe announcing that he left the event to fly home to Spain for personal reasons.
Xisca was heavily pregnant at the timeand was hospitalised in Mallorca as a precaution.
The Spanish champion’s participation at the Laver Cup was in major doubt up until he landed in London, after he said following his loss at the US Open that he didn’t know when he would be back on court.
Speaking on Friday night, Nadal opened up on how difficult it was for him to leave Xisca.
“They have been difficult weeks, few hours of sleep, a little stress in general,” he admitted.
“The situation is a little more complicated than usual at home. I have had to deal with a different pressure than what you are used to in professional life.
“Luckily everything It’s fine, much calmer, and in that sense, I have been able to come here, which was important to me.”
Nadal’s withdrawal from the Laver Cup means he literally only decided to play so that he could feature in the final match of Federer’s career.
Nadal was in tears for his long-time friend and rival as the Swiss champion bid an emotional farewell to tennis on Friday night.
“Roger was always there in front of me,” Nadal said in his post-match press conference.
“For me, he was always the guy to beat. So at some point, we were probably the biggest rivals – I think always in a very good way.”
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