Tennis star Rafael Nadal and long-term girlfriend Mery Perello are set to get married later this year following the couple’s recent engagement.
Nadal, who on Sunday lost out in the Australian Open final to Novak Djokovic, proposed to Perello while the couple were on holiday in Rome in May, reported Spanish magazine Hola.
The pair have been together for 14 years, with Mery – who has a degree in business – currently working at the Rafael Nadal Tennis Academy in Mallorca.
She was in Nadal’s team box at the Australian Open, only the second time she has supported him Down Under with the couple reportedly preferring to not travel together to every tournament.
Nadal’s defeat to Djokovic means the Spaniard remains second on the grand slam all-time list with 17, three behind Roger Federer.
‘I can’t practice’
In October, Nadal’s mind was as far away from tennis as is possible.
Flash floods struck his home island of Mallorca, killing 13 people, including the cousin of one of his best friends and her young son.
“I really lived that tragedy, from very close,” Nadal told CNN Sport in December. “Was very sad for all the people that lost the materials, but especially, the lives that can’t come back.”
Nadal helped out in the relief efforts following the floods, which mainly affected the town of Sant Llorenç des Cardas, just six kilometers from where his academy is based.
Pictures of one of the world’s greatest tennis players, covered in mud and sweeping the streets with a broom, went around the world.
“The next day, we went on court and after 10 minutes, I said ‘Guys, I can’t practice,’” he recalled about that day. “I came back, and I was here with the friends and after that, we decided to go there. That’s all.”
Later this year, the 32-year-old, who has been dubbed the “King of Clay,” will be looking to close the gap on Federer’s record by winning a record-extending 12th French Open title at Roland Garros. The tournament runs from May 26 to June 9.