Rafael Nadal Trains Near Girlfriend Maria Francisca Perello For Rio Olympics

Rafael Nadal has been invisible from ATP because of his injury, but he is still aiming to compete in Rio Olympics. To do so, he chose to stay close to home so that he can be near his girlfriend, Maria Francisca Perello, with whom he has been in a relationship for more than seven years.

He even decided to forego building experience at next week’s Rogers Cup in Canada so he can concentrate on healing his body and getting his mind ready for the Rio Olympics.

“I hope each day to go (progress) a little bit more and arrive in Rio well prepared, although as I always say there is nothing certain in this life,” Rafael Nadal said, according to NBC Sports. “I feel fine, working and undergoing the recovery process. The time schedule is correct, there are two and a half weeks to go before we start to compete.”

The Spaniard had to withdraw from his favorite tournament, the French Open, this past May because “he injured a tendon in his wrist, which also kept him out of Wimbledon,” according to NBC Sports.

He immediately sought out his girlfriend, Maria Francisca Perello, when he pulled out of Wimbledon this year.

“Tennis ace Rafael Nadal was taking his mind off his ailment on Saturday as he soaked up the sun in Formentera, Spain with his long-term girlfriend Xisca Perello, 28,” reports Daily Mail. “Off the court, Rafael showed off his impressive form on a yacht, celebrating his 30th birthday in style with friends, instead of aggravating his sports injury.”

His girlfriend is famous for avoiding the spotlight and choosing to take her work in business seriously. She rarely appears next to him at red carpet events.

As for his training regime, because of his injury, he has not competed since late May, but that is not stopping him from taking part in this year’s Olympics.

Some sports critics have lamented the fact that Rafael Nadal, who once was thought to be the vanquisher of Roger Federer, has now lost his game. But some still have hope that the 30-year-old Spaniard will surprise them all.

“We lament that his consistency has slipped,” a writer stated in Sports Illustrated. “But even that implies that he’s still capable of greatness. Even with a first round loss in Australia, he’s playing Top Five tennis in 2016. He appears to be healthy. And the next Grand Slam is one he’s claimed NINE times.”

Right before pulling out of Wimbledon and French Open, he was doing actually quite well. He won championship titles at Monte Carlo as well as Rome Open, which showed that he is performing his best on his favorite surface.

But another injury sidelined him as he sought to win a major title.

Staying close to home has given him some advantages. Not only has he been able to sustain his relationship with Maria, but he also has been able to develop his tennis academy he founded with his uncle, Tony.

Check out Rafael surrounded by kids at his tennis school.

But having Andy Murray, the winner of this year’s Wimbledon Championships, also train in Mallorca must be putting some mental pressure on the Spaniard as he prepares for Rio Olympics.

His wrist is out of his cast, which means that he is focusing on strengthening it as well as taking breaks to let the muscles around his tendons and joints firm up.

Check out the former world number one celebrating his Twitter milestone, as well as showing off his recovering wrist.

Do you think it is possible that Rafael will win a medal at Rio Olympics? Let us know in the comments below!

[Photo by Elise Amendola/AP Images]

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