Rafael Nadal’s private box was full of his biggest supporters throughout his championship run at the US Open. Fans watching Rafa’s four-set win over Novak Djokovic in the finals even got several glimpses of the Spaniard’s longtime girlfriend Maria Francisca Perello, who is generally less visible than some of the other WAGs of tennis.
Perello, who goes by Xisca, doesn’t always attend Nadal’s matches, unlike Djokovic’s girlfriend Jelena Ristic, or even Andy Murray’s girlfriend Kim Sears. In fact, Perello, who holds a full-time job, explained in Nadal’s 2011 autobiograph why that is the case.
“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,” she sid in the book. “If I followed him everywhere, I think there’s a risk we might stop getting along.”
Like Nadal, Perello is from Mallorca in Spain. The two have been dating since they were teenagers, and Perello is said to be close with Nadal’s sister, who also attended the US Open final and sat with their mother and Perello.
Here are all three at the tournament:
— Rafael Nadal Fans (@RafaelNadalFC) August 30, 2013
Nadal and Perello try to avoid the paparazzi, but they are often photographed together. Photographers snapped shots of them on vacation in July:
— Rafa Nadal Fan Club (@RafaelNadal_FC) July 29, 2013
Rafa Nadal and his girlfriend on the yacht in Mallorca pic.twitter.com/X0BNoMtKtA
— Nadalfanteam (@MirjanaaaD) July 22, 2013
They were also captured on vacation together in Mexico in March:
— Rafaholics™ (@Rafaholics) March 6, 2013
Xisca has actually been at a few of Rafa’s tournaments this year. She was seen with Rafa at the Barcelona Open and Italian Open, both of which Nadal has dominated the past decade. She has also been at the French Open each of the past two years, and the past three Wimbledons, so she definitely has been there to witness some of Rafa’s biggest wins in recent history.
Image via @cjzeroGoogle+