The Laver Cup tournament attracted worldwide attention because of Roger Federer’s farewell to the sport. Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal – the rest of the Big Four – arrived in London to pay their respects to their long-time rival and friend.
Rafa and Roger played a doubles match which they lost but it didn’t matter. The main event was not sports. Everything was based on emotions – mostly sadness that such a giant as the Maestro is leaving the stage. Nadal and Federer did not play again in the demo tournament, although they were required by the rules to participate in at least one singles match and one more in the doubles. Eventually the scheme was changed and the two big men were replaced by Matteo Berrettini and Cameron Norrie.
Nadal himself hinted at family problems, because of which he wanted to go home as soon as possible and be with his partner Maria Francisca, with whom they are expecting their first child soon.
After Roger’s farewell match, Matadora said it was particularly difficult for him – on the one hand because of Federer’s withdrawal and on the other – because of his pregnant wife, whom everyone in Spain calls Hisca. “It’s been difficult weeks with a few hours of sleep a day and a lot of stress – said Rafa at a press conference after the meeting in tandem with the Maestro. – The situation at home is not easy, I have to fight more difficulties than during my professional career. But now everything is fine, it’s much calmer now, and that’s why I came, which was very important for me.”
At the end of August, the Spanish publication Diario De Mallorca reported that Nadal’s wife was admitted to a private clinic in the Balearic Islands in the 31st week of pregnancy and her condition was under constant observation. Along with Hiska in the medical facility were her parents and Rafa’s mother – Maria-Isabel. However, Nadal himself was absent as he was preparing for the US Open.
The child is due to be born this month and medical procedures are performed to preserve the health of the mother and fetus. After Nadal crashed out in New York, he immediately returned home to be with his wife. “It’s true that I had a difficult year. But not only because of the injuries that plagued me throughout my career, but also because of personal and family things. However, in this case it’s for the good,” said Rafa, adding that this does not mean the end of his career, as he has always shared that he wants to have heirs before he says goodbye to professional tennis.
Nadal doesn’t like to talk much about his personal life, but a lot is known about the taciturn Hyska. Rafa has been the boyfriend of the curly-haired beauty since 2005, but the two did not marry until 14 years later. Maria Francisca’s father is a mechanic, and her mother works in the municipality of Manacor. They were introduced by Rafa’s sister and at first they hid their relationship, but it became official when Hiska appeared in the company of the tennis player’s mother at a tournament in 2010.
At that time, Hiska completed his bachelor’s degree at the University of Palma de Mallorca and started working for the company Endesa. He later transferred to Mapfre and then completed his higher education in London as well. Otherwise, she was so far from public attention that after six years of relationship with Rafa, one of the famous Spanish journalists noted that he had never heard the girl speak. Various publications tried to interview her for a long time, but she answered all inquiries in the same way: “I have nothing to tell you.”
Her strangeness in the spotlight and the fact that she rarely accompanied Nadal in the past to tournaments gave fodder to the yellow media to imagine that Rafa was of a non-traditional sexual orientation and that Hiska was his “front”.
The years passed and the two rarely appeared together in social circles, which put water in the mill of the yellow-brown editions. But in 2019, the naysayers were put to shame. Wedding!
About 300 guests attended the celebration, including the former King of Spain Juan Carlos (abdicated in 2014 in favor of his son Philip). Michelin-starred chef Macarena de Castro prepared the food, and the bride wore outfits by the famous Spanish brand Rosa Claro. All guests were asked to come to the ceremony without mobile phones and not a single photo came out of the wedding except those that passed the approval of Rafa and Hiska and the work of the official photographers of the ceremony.
Over the years, Maria Francisca became a bit more of a public figure and even entered the leadership of the Matadora Charitable Foundation. They are much more often together at various events around the world, and now their long-standing union will be cemented with a child. “I would like to have many children. Boys, girls… Many! I am a person who loves children and I am a family person,” Rafa said recently.
The first step in this direction has already been taken, but he still does not give up on tennis, although he has achieved everything and injuries continue to torment him. However, Nadal does not give up. And the most cherished goal in the sport is clear – another title from Roland Garros, which would be 15 in Paris for the King of Clay.