Rafael Nadal is expecting a baby, but do you know who his wife is?

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Congratulations are in order for Spanish tennis icon Rafael Nadal and his wife Xisca as the couple is expecting their first child together. As Nadal just announced his unexpected withdrawal from Wimbledon's semi-finals, here's what we know about his partner of 17 years.

The Spanish tennis icon is expecting his first child with his wife Mery Xisca Perello after nearly two decades together, as reported by Hello!. Fresh from his French Open victory, Nadal appeared at a press conference on June 17 in Mallorca. The tennis star told 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.'

His wife, Perello, was spotted with a baby bump while supporting her husband on Wednesday as Nadal secured a tough win over Taylor Fritz after a five-set thriller to fill the final spot in the semifinals, alongside Australian Nick Kyrgios.

Who is Mery Xisca Perello?

Born on July 7, 1988, Mery used to work as an insurance worker and studied business but a major career crossover saw her become project director for the Rafa Nadal Foundation, the charity Nadal founded with his mother in 2018. MyLondon writes that the foundation serves to provide helps at-risk and underprivileged children across Spain with educational and sports activities, alongside other support.

Nadal met his wife when they were still teenagers and began dating in 2005. Their relationship took to a new level in May 2018 when Nadal popped the question to his childhood sweetheart. However, they kept the engagement under wraps for eight months, with the news going viral only after Nadal was defeated by Novak Djokovic at the 2019 Australian Open in January 2018.

Rafael Nadal is expecting a baby, but do you know who his wife is? Rob Newell - CameraSport

After 14 years together, Nadal and Perrelo tied the knot in a lavish ceremony in Majorca in front of 350 guests in October 2019. The wedding venue was the £30 million La Fortaleza fortress on the Spanish Island, which also served as the location for football star Gareth's Bale wedding in 2018. Nadal and Perrelo's big day was attended by high-profile guests such as former King of Spain Juan Carlos I, Spanish actress Carolina Cerezuela, Argentinian tennis player Juan Monaco, and celebrated actor Tom Hiddleston.

Both Perello and Nadal are extremely private about their personal affairs, staying under the radar and avoiding the press most of the time. In a rare interview with The Telegraph back in 2011, Perello shared a glimpse into the couple's private life. She also explained her absence in most of Nadal's matches, saying:

'Traveling together everywhere, even if I could, would not be good either for him or for me. He needs his space when he is competing, and just the idea of me hanging around waiting on his needs all day wears me out. It would asphyxiate me.'

She went on to add that her presence would make Nadal 'be worrying about me', which could lead to 'a risk we might stop getting along'.

Nadal just pulled out of Wimbledon

According to NPR, Nadal's hopes of battling with Australian Nick Kyrgios in this year Wimbledon's semi-finals have ended, with the Spanish tennis player suffering from an abdominal muscle injury. The decision to pull out of Wimbledon was made one day before he was scheduled to face Kyrgios. Nadal said, regarding his injury:

'I think it's obvious that if I keep going, the injury is going to be worse and worse, and that's the thing that I can say now and feel very sad to say that.'

Inarguably the greatest tennis player Spain ever boasts, Rafael Nadal prides himself on being part of the legendary Big Four of Men's singles tennis, alongside Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal. For most of the 21st century, these four men have dominated the tennis courts, grabbing a multitude of prizes.

Becoming a pro at the age of 15, Rafael Nadal made a name for himself with his techniques playing on clay courts, which gave him his nickname 'King of Clay'. The Spanish tennis great boasts a glorious career glittering with records and titles, having won a record 13 French Open singles titles and holds the record for first all-time in the men's game with 22 Grand Slam titles. Currently ranked No.4, Nadal is also the youngest player to win all four majors in singles (Career Grand Slam) and the Olympic singles gold medal (Career Golden Slam), securing both at the age of 24.

© Rob Newell - CameraSport

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