Rafa set to wed, after his 14-year courtship

TENNIS star Raphael Nadal has revealed that he will marry his girlfriend of 14 years, probably this autumn in Mallorca.

Rafa proposed to Maria Francisca “Xisca” Perello during a romantic trip to Rome last May, but chose to keep the news private until now.

The pair, both from Manacor, in Mallorca, lead independent lives, with Xisca working in insurance, having graduated from the island’s university with a business degree.

While she is seen, usually, at the final stages of most tournaments, she is also behind many of the Rafa Nadal Foundation projects.

“He needs space when he is competing, and just the idea of me hanging around and waiting on his needs all day tires me out,” she said.

“It would asphyxiate me, and then he would have to be worrying about me. No! If I followed him everywhere, there’s a risk we might stop getting along.”

Nadal, 17-time Grand Slam winner, announced the news after his stunning defeat in straight sets by main rival Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open final last weekend.

In an interview with Spanish newspaper Marca last year, the Spaniard hinted that he wouldn’t be ready to start a family until he had retired from tennis.

“I keep my commitment with tennis and my happiness,” said Nadal. “I enjoy both, in tennis and outside it. I have a girlfriend, too, and I am not alone in taking decisions.

But he’s not sure about having children. “I don’t know,” he said. “Things are not easy to predict.

“At this age, I thought I would have already been a former player, and that I would have started a family.”


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