Rafael Nadal is recognized as one of the greatest athletes in the history of sport, the greatest tennis player ever along with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. His numerous victories on clay (record 62 titles) also earned him the nickname of King of Clay, a surface on which he is considered the strongest player in tennis history.
In his career, Rafa has also won the Olympic gold medal in the 2008 singles and the Olympic gold medal in the doubles of 2016, 5 Davis Cups with the Spanish national team (2004, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2019), 36 ATP tournaments Masters 1000 (shared record with Novak Djokovic), 22 ATP 500 tournaments and 9 ATP 250 tournaments.
Nadal was ATP world number one for a total of 209 weeks, finishing 5 seasons in first place in the rankings. He is the only player in history to have reached the No. 1 position of the ATP ranking over the course of three different decades (2000-2009, 2010-2019, 2020-2029).
He is also the only player in history to never be relegated from the Top 10 of the ranking, as well as the absolute record holder for number of consecutive weeks (822: from 25 April 2005 to today). At Roland Garros, he is the only player of both sexes to have won the same tournament 13 times, with a record of 105 wins (an absolute record in Slam tournaments) and only three defeats, one of the greatest sporting achievements ever.
Behind a great man there is always a great woman
But behind a great man there is always a great woman. In Manacor, Rafa met María Francisca Perelló, known as Xisca, with whom he got engaged in December 2005. The two got married on October 19, 2019 in Mallorca. A woman who with his discretion and confidentiality has given great stability to Rafael Nadal’s professional life.
Xisca Perello is a notoriously reserved person off the pitch. Nadal has kept his private life very well guarded over the years considering how much of a phenomenon he has become. Perello has known Nadal since he was younger, having come into contact with him through her friend, his sister, Maribel Nadal.
The couple began dating in 2005 when they went to the University of the Balearic Islands. She was 17 and Rafa was 19. Xisca currently holds the position of Project Director of Strategy and Relations with Institutions for the Rafa Nadal Foundation.
Her first job after graduation was as a sports marketer in London. Many stars were present at their wedding, such as Olivia Colman, Tom Hiddleston, David Ferrer, Hugh Laurie and many others. They got married in La Fortaleza castle in Mallorca, in a very classy wedding, with 350 guests, even though there were neither Federer nor Djokovic. Roger confirmed that he did not receive an invite to the wedding, adding that he hadn’t expected to and that he was not disappointed with the decision.