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Tennis legend Rafael Nadal announces engagement to girlfriend of 14 years

And he took his sweet time to tell everyone...

By Jess Pullar
There are some couples who meet, fall in love and are married within months. It would be safe to say Rafael Nadal is not one of those people.
Just days after being pipped at the post at the Australian Open, the tennis legend has announced his engagement to partner Xisca Perello, with whom he has been in a relationship with for 14 years.
Yep, 14 years. That's a long courtship - and we're pretty sure his aunties are breathing a BIG sigh of relief right now.
Rafael Nadal has announced his engagement to long-time partner Xisca Perello. (Image: Getty)
All eyes were on the tennis great and Xisca as they attended the Australian Open in Melbourne last week, and all that time the pair were hiding the very big news.
In fact, they've actually been hiding it from us for a whopping eight months!
Nadal reportedly popped the question while the pair were on a romantic trip to Rome in May last year, according to Spanish magazine Hola!.
The 17-time grand slam champion previously told the publication that he definitely wants children, saying: "Obviously, I have the intention of forming a family. I love children and I would like my children to do what they like."
The pair have been together for 14 years. (Image: Getty)
Xisca, whose full name is Maria Francisca Perello, started dating Nadal in 2005, but the pair, who both grew up together in their hometown of Palma de Majora in Spain, have known each other since childhood.
The stunning brunette is an insurance worker, after graduating with a degree in business management and administration from the University of Palma.
In 2016, she also became the Director of Social Integration for The Rafael Nadal Foundation.
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Xisca recently attended the Australian Open to see her fiancee compete. (Image: Getty)
And while the pair are undoubtedly committed to each other's causes, Xisca is rarely seen at tennis grand slam tournaments to cheer on Nadal.
Speaking previously to 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."
But that didn't stop her from attending the 2019 Australian Open where Nadal made it to the final without dropping a set.
The Spaniard unfortunately lost out to Serbian Novak Djokovic in the final match, but the King of Clay took it all in his stride.
"Many congratulations to Novak and to his team," he said.
"It was an amazing level of tennis tonight and for the two weeks, so well done for everything."
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