When Rafael Nadal entered the international tennis circuit aged just 19 years old, he quickly established himself as a pivotal individual in the sporting landscape by winning the Roland Garros. In the 17 years since that 2005 win, he’s gone on to take out 19 more grand slam singles titles—making him one of the most decorated tennis players in history.
Of course, playing tennis can be isolating and siloed for individual athletes, but Nadal has had someone by his side the whole way through his incredible career—his girlfriend and now-wife, Xisca Perello, also known as Maria Francisca Perello.
He and Perello were together for 14 years before they tied the knot in 2019, but they kept their relationship notoriously private. That said, the couple have dropped some snippets for Nadal’s die-hard fans to hold onto (and covet, if we’re being completely honest) about their wholesome connection.
Here, we look at Rafael and Xisca Perello’s relationship—the very definition of long-term.
Who is Xisca Perello?
Perello is a Spanish-born business graduate, born on July 7, 1988. She previously worked in insurance before joining forces with Nadal to manage his charitable children’s sports organisation, The Rafael Nadal Foundation.
She grew up in Mallorca, an island off the coast of Spain which is also where her now-husband was born.
How did she and Rafael Nadal meet?
Various reports about the pair claim Nadal met Perello through family friends. They began dating in 2005 while Perello was attending the University of Balearic Islands—at the time, she was 17 while Nadal was 19.
While it’s clear their relationship was rock solid from day one, Perello and Nadal have managed to maintain privacy around their lives away from the tennis court. Apart from fleeting pap shots of the pair when they’ve travelled together, the only times we’ve seen Perello in a public setting is when she’s cheering her husband on at the sideline of his games.
When did Rafael Nadal marry his wife, Xisca Perello?
Nadal and Perello tied the knot on October 19, 2019—more than a decade after they began dating. They married in a stunning ceremony at La Fortaleza castle in Mallorca, an event attended by around 350 guests.
For the ceremony, Perello wore a stunning dress by designer Rosa Clará, featuring an embroided bodice with sheer long sleeves, a high crew neck and a clinched waist.
What have Rafael Nadal and Xisca Perello said about each other in the past?
The pair have rarely spoken publicly about each other, however, in 2011 Xisca gave some insight about Nadals’ hyper-focus on his tennis which, at times, requires all of his attention.
“He needs his space when he is competing, and just the idea of me hanging around and waiting on his needs all day tires me out,” she told The Telegraph.
“It would asphyxiate me. And then he would have to be worrying about me… No. If I followed him everywhere, I think there’s a risk we might stop getting along.”
Do Rafael Nadal and Xisca Perello Have Any Children?
In October of 2022, Nadal and Perrello welcomed their first and only child together, a baby boy also named Rafael. The pair’s bundle of joy is yet to be spotted in the side lines at any of his famous father’s tennis matches, but we’re sure the new born will be making an appearance soon.
Does Xisca Perello have Instagram?
It looks like Perello doesn’t have Instagram—or if she does, she keeps it private for close family and friends. Nadal on the other hand has more than 12 million followers—though his posts are predominantly about his tennis-related updates.
Why Was Xisca Perello Crying At The Australian Open?
It was a moment that tugged on the heart-strings of even the most stoic tennis fans. During Nadal’s match against American tennis star Mackenzie McDonald, Perello was heartbreakingly spotted in the crowd in tears while watching her husband’s body failed to perform as required to proceed to the next round.
In front of the shocked crowd at Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena, Nadal was defeated 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 in the second round due to a sustained injury. Seeing Nadal’s tournament run come to an end was difficult for any attendee at the AO, but none more so that Perello herself.
Following the match, Nadal revealed the loss was something he isn’t taking lightly. “Can’t say that I am not destroyed mentally at this time, because I will be lying. It’s hard for me,” he said.