TENNIS star Rafael Nadal has reportedly become a father for the first time at the age of 36.
The two-times Wimbledon champion’s wife Mery Perello gave birth in a private clinic in the Majorcan capital Palma this morning, according to the Spanish press.
Rafael Nadal and his wife Maria Francisca Perello seen here in November last year
Rafael Nadal poses with his wifeafter a photoshoot for his 14th victory at Roland Garros in June this year
The couple have yet to make any official comment.
Both mother and baby are said to be “doing well.”
Hola!, confirming Rafa and Mery’s baby had been born shortly after the news was broken by Majorcan paper Diario de Mallorca, said: “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.”
Glossy Spanish magazine Hola! broke the news of Mery’s pregnancy in June following weeks of speculation Rafa’s childhood sweetheart was expecting after she started wearing more loose-fitting clothes and donned a face mask at the Champions League final.
It was also the first to reveal the sex of the baby late last month.
Nadal, who has won an all-time record 22 Grand Slam men’s singles titles, told Hola! in March 2018: “Obviously I intend and want to form a family. I love children and I would like them to do what they want in life.”
The name Sebastia, Sebastian in English and the name of Rafa’s father and great-grandfather, has been touted as the most likely for the couple’s child.
Former insurance worker Mery’s health has been the focus of Spanish press attention in recent weeks which intensified following Nadal’s recent withdrawal from the Laver Cup for “personal reasons” after he helped the world of tennis bid farewell to retiring star Roger Federer.
It emerged at the end of August she had been admitted to a private clinic in the Majorcan capital Palma as she entered the 31st week of her pregnancy.
Reports at the time said doctors had decided to monitor her as a precaution.
Nadal, who dated his wife for 14 years before they tied the knot in October 2019 at a British-owned fortress in Majorca, confirmed the couple were expecting their first child together days after the Hola! pregnancy exclusive in June.
Mery, 34, gave up a job in insurance to become project director for the Rafa Nadal Foundation, the charity he founded more than ten years ago.
She is well-known as an incredibly private person.
The estate the Spanish couple picked to marry, La Fortaleza overlooking the bay of Pollensa in north-east Majorca, was where Real Madrid star Gareth Bale tied the knot with Emma Rhys-Jones in June 2019 as part of a three-day celebration.
It was also where 2016 BBC spy thriller The Night Manager starring Hugh Laurie was filmed.
The property was purchased by Lord Lupton in 2011 for £30million although the original asking price is believed to have been around the £75m mark.
Rafa’s sister Maribel Nadal said late last month he and his wife were doing “very well” as she left a ceremony in Madrid attended by Spain’s Queen Letizia where she represented the Rafa Nadal Foundation.
Rafa celebrates his victory over Novak Djokovic in the French Open with a kiss with his wife