Nadal spills on mystery ‘wildcard’ WAG
RAFAEL Nadal has shared a brief window into his famously secret private life with long-term girlfriend Xisca Perello after a slightly awkward on-court interview with Jim Courier at the Australian Open.
Perello - born Maria Francisca Perello - has passionately avoided the spotlight during her 14-year relationship with Nadal and remains a recluse when it comes to approaches from media representatives all over the world.
Joining Nadal at the Australian Open for just the second time since they began dating in 2005, Perello has been spotted courtside for every match Nadal has played at this year's tournament on his way to the quarterfinals.
Having regularly refused to entertain questions about his private life, Nadal on Sunday was happy to share with Courier in an interview with Channel 9 exactly what he and his partner have been getting up to during their down time in Melbourne.
Courier was clearly aware he may have been overstepping the mark in asking Nadal about his love life, but the Spanish star was comfortable sharing how little time he actually gets to enjoy with Perello when they are on the road at tennis tournaments.
"Maria, she's back in Australia this year," Courier began his question.
"You guys have a d day and a half off, and I'm wondering what do you guys like to do when you're not working here in Australia when you have a bit of time? I told you, you weren't going to like it."
Nadal's simple response was probably not the response the interview wizard was hoping for.
"As I say to you a couple of years ago in 2017, I think it was the first time she was able to be here, that she had received a wildcard in that moment and now after 14 years together she doesn't need wildcards," Nadal said of her rare appearance in Melbourne.
"She comes wherever she wants."
When asked about their 36 hour break before Nadal is expected to be scheduled to face Frances Tiafoe in a quarterfinal on Tuesday night, Nadal painted a very bland picture: "That's how it works. What I'm going to do is rest".
Nadal two years ago left the Rod Laver Arena crowd in stitches in an interview with Courier where he pulled up in the middle of his response out of fear he may have talked his way into the doghouse with his girlfriend. Nadal's treacherous response all stemmed from a simple question about what he and Perello were able to get up to in the final week before the 2017 Open.
"The negative thing is I lost in the quarter-final in Brisbane but the good thing is I had chance to visit Sydney," Nadal said.
"I hadn't been there before and we enjoyed it. So after 10 years finally my girlfriend gets a wildcard to come here."
"You know… better we stop here."
Even sitting in the most high profile seats, Perello has been able to keep a low profile in Melbourne.
The 30-year-old insurance worker and business degree graduate does not even have any public social media profiles, The Sun reports.
Many details of the pair's romance remain unknown since the pair have always declined to comment on any future plans of marriage or children.
The pair do not have any children, but the tennis champion has previously said that he would like to become a father.
He commented: "I would love to have children: boys, girls… I'm a person who loves kids and I'm a family guy.
"But also I tell you that the reality is, the years keep passing, I would like to start to do all of this when my sporting life determines it."
Mr Nadal added that his sporting career has made it difficult to think about having children so far, saying: "I think it's also above all about looking after the kids.
"I don't know if it [travelling throughout the year and having children] is ideal."
In one of her only interviews, Xisca Perello revealed that she chooses not to attend most of Nadal's tennis matches in a bid to preserve their relationship.
In an interview with The Telegraph in 2011, Xisca explained: "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.
"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."