Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic and his girlfriend Jelena Ristic arrive at a fundraising dinner for the Novak Djokovic Foundation.
Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic and his girlfriend Jelena Ristic arrive at a fundraising dinner for the Novak Djokovic Foundation.

World number one Novak Djokovic and number two Rafa Nadal face each other in the men's tennis singles final at the US Open at Flushing Meadows.

The US Open championship showdown on Monday 9 September will be the third in four years for Djokovic and Nadal at the U.S. National Tennis Centre.

Cheering them on will be their girlfriends, who by now must have nerves of steel as they applaud or groan over winners and missed shots.

Serbian Support
Jelenic Ristic knew Novak Djokovic, the tennis world number one, long before he was famous. "She met the Serbian tennis star at Sport High School and her mother described it as love at first sight," according to the Daily Mail.

Jelena Ristic at the ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena in London, 2012.
Jelena Ristic at the ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena in London, 2012.

Ristic has recently finished her Masters Degree with honours and is soon to start studying for her PhD in management.

She is also as the director of the Novak Djokovic Foundation, an organisation that helps "socially underprivileged" children and families in Serbia.

Jelena Ristic watches Djokovic's men's singles final match against Rafael Nadal of Spain at the Australian Open tennis tournament in 2012.
Jelena Ristic watches Djokovic\'s men\'s singles final match against Rafael Nadal of Spain at the Australian Open tennis tournament in 2012.

At Wimbledon, Ristic planned a gala that raised $1.8 million for the cause.

Ristic will be featured in the September issue of Vogue magazine, photographed in creations by designers including Victoria Beckham and Oscar de la Renta.

In the Spanish corner
Maria Francisca Perello has been Rafael Nadal's girlfriend for over seven years, having met the tennis ace in the small town where they both grew up.

Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal and girlfriend Maria Francisca Perello at the ATP World Tour Gala at Battersea Power Station in London, 2011.
Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal and girlfriend Maria Francisca Perello at the ATP World Tour Gala at Battersea Power Station in London, 2011.

Despite Nadal's privileged lifestyle and enormous wealth - he has already earned more than £42 million in prize money so far - he stays in relative anonymity in his Mallorcan home with Perello.

Perello, known as Xisca, started dating the tennis player when they both were teenagers, and she is a close friend of Nadal's sister Isabel.

On Centre Court for Nadal's semi-final match against Britain's Andy Murray at the 2010 Wimbledon tennis championships, 2010.
On Centre Court for Nadal\'s semi-final match against Britain\'s Andy Murray at the 2010 Wimbledon tennis championships, 2010.

The 24-year-old has never given an interview, as she likes to stay out of the limelight. However, the couple were spotted recently sightseeing and shopping in New York before the start of the US Open.

Not much is known about Perello, though she is believed to work full-time for a Mallorcan insurance company. Unlike many other tennis wives or wags, Perello doesn't accompany Nadal to every tournament on the circuit.

Maria Francisca Perello sits on Centre Court for Nadal's match against Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina at the Wimbledon tennis championships in 2011.
Maria Francisca Perello sits on Centre Court for Nadal\'s match against Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina at the Wimbledon tennis championships in 2011.

"Travelling together everywhere, even if I could, would not be good either for him or for me," she says.

"He needs his space when he is competing, and just the idea of me hanging around waiting on his needs all day wears me out. It would asphyxiate me."