María Francisca, in one of her few appearances to accompany Rafa in the brick dust.  (Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP)

Roger Federer talks about the benefits of fatherhood, a unique feeling, difficult to convey. Andy Murray listens carefully and smiles, although he knows what the Briton who has four children is talking about, just like the Swiss. And there is Rafa Nadal, too, who despite not knowing what “being a dad” is all about, shows himself in tune with the talk of his two great colleagues and friends of years on the circuit: “I hope to be in your situation within a short time”says the Spaniard, as if knowing what is coming.

A few months after that human chat by zoom between the cracks of the Big 4 (Djokovic was missing, of course) that marked much of the last era of professional tennis, the great news arrived: after almost two decades of relationship, Rafael Nadal and his wife Maria Francisca Perello They would be expecting their first child. The good news exploded during the vacations of the new French Open champion, after the confirmation of the magazine Hola de España.

Finally, Nadal will be able to be in that situation that he sought so much when forming a family. The photo that flooded the networks, and that advanced the novelty of the married couple in 2019, shows Xisca on a beach in Mallorca, wearing a swimsuit that, according to Hola magazine, `show off your new silhouette´.

In this way, the 36-year-old tennis player and his 33-year-old wife, begin to write a new chapter in their lives, while Nadal begins to put his head in Wimbledon. After undergoing medical treatment on his left foot, Rafa puts first and is already training in one of the courts of the Country Club of Santa Ponça.

Rafa and Xisca, a lifetime together

With the announcement that the family is expanding, what is even clearer is that Nadal and Xisca seem to be something for life. In fact, the tennis player and his wife met during their adolescence. Both natives of Mallorca, they began their relationship 17 years agoand its history is, at least, particular.

The first contact between Rafa and María Francisca was thanks to Maribel, Rafa’s sister, who went to the Pureza de María school in Manacor, where she became very close to María Francisca.


María Francisca, in one of her few appearances to accompany Rafa in the brick dust. (Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP)

Since then, the future champion of everything that will cross him in the world of tennis, he began to become closer and closer to his younger sister’s friend. When were they first shown together? In 2005, in what would become the backyard of Rafa’s house Yes, that year Nadal won the first of his 13 Roland Garros titles. And, from that moment on, beyond never leaving the low profile, they became inseparable companions.

Both are from Manacor, a small town located in Mallorca, and likewise, their families were always quite influential in the area. Rafa, son of Sebastián Nadal, a successful businessman, and María Parera, a housewife. Xisca, daughter of the builder Bernat Perelló and María Pascual, a City Council worker.

Rafa Nadal with his girlfriend, Xisca.

Rafa Nadal with his girlfriend, Xisca.

Although María was always very close to Rafa, she herself assured in the book Rafael: My story, that the key to such a lasting relationship was their independence. “Traveling everywhere together would not be good for him or me. If I followed him around everywhere, I think there would be a danger that we wouldn’t get along so well.”

And this low profile is practically the main feature of Xisca, which does not have any public social network. In addition, very little is known about the Majorcan’s private life, and it was barely disclosed that she studied Business Administration and Management at the University of the Balearic Islands, and which is at the forefront of the Rafael Nadal Foundation.

The Rafa Nadal Foundation was created in 2008, by Rafa and his mother Ana María. It was born with the aim of transforming from sport and education, in addition to promoting inclusion and diversity. María Francisca, she is a member of the Foundation’s board of trustees, where she occupies the role of Secretary. While on the executive team, he serves as Director.

The story of your intimate wedding

After 14 years of dating, in which they were seen together in just a handful of the highlights of Rafa’s career, the couple decided to marry in 2019. The ceremony only took place around the month of October, but the proposal would have arisen in May 2018, in Rome.

Nadal had just won the tournament in the Italian capital for the eighth time, and had managed to climb back to the top of the ATP rankings, so it was a perfect context to propose to his longtime girlfriend. The wedding took place in Sa Fortalesa, a building located on a peninsula overlooking the Bay of Pollença, and was not attended by any type of press.

Rafa said yes in front of his family and closest friends, and in his hometown.  (EFE/EPA/RAFA NADAL FOUNDATION)

Rafa said yes in front of his family and closest friends, and in his hometown. (EFE/EPA/RAFA NADAL FOUNDATION)

In fact, the photographs of that celebration were released by Nadal himself, through the social networks of its Foundation. At the ceremony, several tennis players such as Feliciano López, David Ferrer, and Juan `Pico´ Mónaco, among others, were present.

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