Spanish tennis icon Rafael Nadal appears in the new Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition along with Israeli model Bar Refaeli in an erotically-charged photo shoot.

Nadal poses embracing the model, who in some photos is covering her naked breasts with her arms or is lying down with the athlete, who wears just swimming trunks and a watch in about 10 photos.

The photo shoot was directed by photographer Walter Iooss Jr. in Montreal, and he said that the job of posing the pair was "almost a romance."

The Israeli model was also photographed for this special edition of the sports magazine with Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps and NBA star Chris Paul.

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Refaeli said she was thrilled to have the chance to pose with Nadal, whom she said in a video recorded by Sports Illustrated could be a great model, in addition to being a great tennis star.

"I was a little nervous, because normally when I work for Sports Illustrated it's just me," said the model, who during the intimate scenes joked around with Nadal..

The Spaniard said that he had posed in a photo session in the past, but not one like this: "It was a new experience for me, I enjoyed it a lot."

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