Rafa Nadal's revelation about wife after backlash from tennis fans

The tennis champion has opened up about his decision to leave his pregnant wife in hospital last year.

Rafa Nadal and wife Xisca Perello, pictured here at the United Cup in Sydney.
Rafa Nadal and wife Xisca Perello at the United Cup in Sydney. Image: Getty

Rafa Nadal has opened up in a telling revelation about his wife following backlash over his decision to leave her while she was in hospital last year. Nadal's wife Xisca Perello was hospitalised in Mallorca due to complications with her pregnancy and had to be monitored by doctors.

The couple have since welcomed a healthy baby boy named Rafael Jr, with mum and bub both in Australia ahead of the first grand slam of the year in Melbourne. Nadal and Xisca endured an emotionally taxing few months before Rafa Jr's arrival, with Nadal choosing to leave her side on a number of occasions due to tennis commitments.

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The Spanish champion copped some brutal backlash from fans online after deciding to fly to America to play the US Open in September while Xisca was in hospital. He also left her side to play doubles with Roger Federer at the Laver Cup in the Swiss legend's farewell event before retiring.

But in a recent interview, Nadal revealed that it was actually Xisca's wishes that he played in New York and London, with his wife encouraging him to do so. "Luckily, I have a woman who is brave. And she has always helped me in everything I could and more, and she has always encouraged me to continue," he said.

"So, in that sense, she made it easy for me. In fact, it was she who encouraged me to go to the United States."

Federer previously revealed what it meant to him to have Nadal playing alongside him at the Laver Cup. "I called him after the US Open - I waited for him to finish that tournament - just to let him know about my retirement," Federer said.

"Rafa told me, 'I will try everything I possibly can to be there with you.' And that felt obviously incredible for me. And it showed again how much we mean to one another and how much respect we have.

"And I just thought it would be just a beautiful, amazing story for us, for sports, for tennis, and maybe beyond that as well, where we can co-exist in a tough rivalry and come out on top and show that, hey, again it’s just tennis. So, an incredible effort by Rafa, and I’ll obviously never forget what he did for me in London."

Rafa Nadal's wife Xisca Perello, pictured here at the United Cup in Sydney.
Rafa Nadal's wife Xisca Perello at the United Cup in Sydney. (Photo by Andy Cheung/Getty Images)

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Xisca and Rafa Jr were spotted at the United Cup in Sydney last week cheering him on. Things didn't exactly go to plan for the 22-time grand slam champion after he suffered back-to-back losses to Cameron Norrie and Alex de Minaur - the first time in his career that he's started a season 0-2.

"The first event I play like a father without the baby with me, I lost first round. Second event, traveling with the baby, I was out of the group stage. At the end I won my last match, but I need to keep improving, no?" he said. "We have some help. No problem at all. Just I need to organise my life a bit, as everybody needs to do when you have a child in your life."

Nadal was left bristling at questions about his future in tennis, with speculation rife that he will announce his retirement at some stage this year. "For me, I lost my match, that's it," he said. "Every time that I am coming to a press conference it seems that I have to retire.

"So, you are very, very interested in my retirement. I mean, that's, for the moment, not the case. When this day arrives, I'm gonna let you know guys. Don't keep going with the retirement (questions) because I'm going to keep playing tennis."

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