“I Had a Thing With Rafael” – Kirsten Flipkens on Her Relation With Rafael Nadal

Published 05/07/2020, 4:32 PM EDT


Former World Number 13 Kirsten Flipkens shared about an episode from her childhood, that involved 19-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal. Both the tennis professionals were born in the same year 1986, and Flipkens mentioned growing up with the Spanish legend.

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Recently, on a Dutch TV show, De Container Cup, Flipkens was asked the tennis player whom she’d want to participate in the TV show. Without any second thought, she replied Nadal and also mentioned he’s the most complete player on the ATP Tour.

By doing so, she continued to share her adolescent love affair with Rafa. Both of them were 14 years old, but their tale couldn’t go beyond holding hands. Since at that time, Nadal wasn’t proficient in English, and language had become a barrier between their love.

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Rafael Nadal

“That’s right, we are the same age. We grew up together, ” Flipkens said. “Have we ever had anything (laughs)?. Yeah, that’s right. When I was fourteen years old, I had a thing with Rafael. But he didn’t speak English at the time, so we couldn’t go further than hand in hand and a kiss.”

Rafael Nadal and his wife

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However, Rafa met the women of his dream Mery Xisca Perello and after 14 years of dating, he married her in October 2019, in his hometown of Mallorca, Spain. Their wedding took place after Rafa won his 19th Grand Slam in New York.

His wife, Perello is in-charge of Rafa Nadal Foundation and she takes care of all the administration work carried out in the association. “The Foundation was born from the desire to help vulnerable people, since Rafael was already an important tennis player and collaborated with different charitable causes, participated in various events and initiatives,” Perello mentioned in one of her interviews.

Nadal’s Wedding

Mery is often seen during Rafa’s professional tennis matches. She sits in his box with his team and travels the world with him.

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Mahalakshmi Murali

1907 articles

Mahalakshmi Murali joined EssentiallySports in 2018 as a tennis author and has gone on to pen more than 1800 engaging articles, probing into various aspects of the sport and its illustrious players. With her expertise on the sport, Mahalakshmi has interviewed stalwarts from the sport such as Serena WIlliams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou and Kevin Anderson’s physio, Carlos Costa. Equipped with her vast experience and a keen understanding of the sport, Mahalakshmi now co-heads the tennis department.

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