For a long time it seemed a lock that Nadal would join Federer in roaring past 14, too, but Federer has aged far better, even though his major-title drought is nearly double Nadal's (53 months to 31).Unlike Federer, who's relentlessly buoyant and talks in glass-half-full terms about how taking off the past six months of 2016 for rest and recovery was a "great thing" for him, Nadal's emotional gauge is different, though he too is finally back."The King of the Clay" has won 14 Grand Slam titles during his career and is universally adored by tennis and sports fans alike. Born in Manacor, Spain on 3 June 1986, Nadal started playing tennis at the age of three and was taken under the wing of his uncle Toni, who was also a professional tennis player.Toni was not the only sporting uncle that Nadal had; Miguel Angel Nadal was a professional footballer who played for Barcelona and Real Mallorca. Date of birth: 3 June, 1986Home town: Manacor, Spain Nationality: Spanish Net worth: 5m Height: 6'1Weight: 187lbs Family: Dating Xisca Perello since 2005. Twitter: @rafaelnadal Instagram: rafaelnadal Facebook: Rafael Nadal Predictably, Nadal was a dab hand at tennis from an early age and won an under-12 championship at the age of eight.Nadal was asked whether he thought he could win this 2017 Australian Open, and it was a bit surprising when he candidly said, "I don't know."That prompted a softball follow-up question: What would he be satisfied with here, given he was hurt and barely played the second half of last year?Nadal again unexpectedly took his answer to another deep place: "If I don't believe I can be competitive -- and when I say 'competitive', fighting for the things that I fighting [for] the last 10 years -- I will probably be playing golf or fishing at home.MELBOURNE, Australia -- Rafael Nadal has never been as smooth in front of a microphone as Roger Federer, or as comfortable opening a vein and baring his feelings in public.So in the lead-up to the Australian Open, it was telling when Nadal, a man long celebrated for having the most formidable will on tour, didn't dismiss the idea his career's end could be near when he got his version of the retirement question, a topic Federer faces all too regularly these days.
In fact, Perello, who holds a full-time job, explained in Nadal’s 2011 autobiograph why that is the case.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.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: Xisca has actually been at a few of Rafa’s tournaments this year.Nadal’s relationship with Maria Francisca Perello was first revealed in Wimbledon Championship.