10 JULY 2008

Wimbledon champ Rafael Nadal traded the wet British summer for sunny Spain this week, as he and his newly-acquired Grand Slam trophy made a triumphant return to his hometown in Majorca. The tennis ace was cheered by hundreds of enthusiastic fans as he took to a balcony above the streets of the town of Manacor, clearly relishing the chance to celebrate his victory on home turf.

There was some well-earned relaxation in store for the 22-year-old, too, who took to the island's beautiful beaches with his stunning student girlfriend Maria Francisca Perello. Known as Xisca to her friends, the brunette showed off her toned physique in a teeny green bikini and was clearly delighted at the chance to soak up some rays and frolic in the surf with her boyfriend of three years.

Rafa's return to the island kicks off a period of rest for the world number two, who'll be hoping to echo his glory at Wimbledon and France's Roland Garros courts with another Grand Slam win at the US Open next month.

Photo: © Alphapress.com
Next to a Spanish flag waving in the Majorca breeze, Wimbledon champ Rafa showed off his trophy to fans gathered in his hometown of Manacor after receiving a hero's welcome upon his return on WednesdayPhoto: © Rex
Photo: © Alphapress.com
Making the most of the break between major tournaments, the tennis ace headed straight for the beach with his student love XiscaPhoto: © Rex
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