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Rafael Nadal's coach hits out at Melbourne Park crowd

Date

Simon Briggs

Rafael Nadal.

Rafael Nadal. Photo: Mark Kolbe

COMMENT: Why tennis exposes the idiots in every crowd

Rafael Nadal's coach, Toni Nadal, has criticised the Melbourne crowd for what he felt was a disrespectful reaction to his nephew's medical timeout on Sunday night.

The world No.1 left Rod Laver Arena for six minutes, early in the second set. A physiotherapist was attending to his locked back - a break within the rules. Yet he was booed by many fans when he returned to the court.

This has been a mildly controversial tournament for Nadal, whose intermittent grunting and slow play attracted the criticism of Roger Federer after their semi-final on Friday.

So when he took that extended break during the final, some spectators must have felt that Nadal was engaging in gamesmanship after Stan Wawrinka had dominated the first set. "I don't think the crowd should be doing this," Toni Nadal said. "Rafael has always given his best at this tournament, all tournaments. He knows that people have paid money for tickets to be here for the match, the grand slam final. He does not want them to have, how do I say, the stopped show.

"The crowd did not know what was happening. I see this. But I think if you do not know something for sure, why say anything? Rafael enjoys this tournament, he enjoys this crowd, he loves Rod Laver court. There are good memories here. But I wish people knew what Rafael was trying to do. Sometimes the crowd don't think, maybe."

Nadal himself had made light of the incident. "I can understand very well the reaction," he said. "They understand later that I was bad. I was trying all what I can try."

The Telegraph, London

165 comments

  • The crowd perceived gamesmanship hence the booing. Pretty logical really .

    Commenter
    Phil
    Date and time
    January 28, 2014, 12:03PM
    • Not logical at all. A true sportsman took a medical time-out well within his rights. An appalling crowd booed someone that was injured and yet fought on (no doubt in part so as not to disappoint the crowd). What is appalling is that Australian commentators now try to justify the disgraceful conduct of the crowd. Rafa plays fairly and is a blessing to the sport. Those members of the crowd that booed came across as a bunch of impudent children ignorant of the rules of tennis, and disrespectful to a true champion of the game. Let's stop justifying the crowd's conduct, even if you don't like the way Rafa plays.

      Commenter
      Reor
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      January 28, 2014, 12:50PM
    • Totally agreed

      Commenter
      Tony mani
      Date and time
      January 28, 2014, 2:23PM
    • And they were wrong which made them insensitive bogans.

      Commenter
      ST
      Date and time
      January 28, 2014, 12:52PM
    • No. The people that booed paid for their tickets and they wanted their pound of flesh. Got a feeling Nadal isn't well liked, especially since he trashed Melbourne's darling Federer

      Commenter
      Wayne
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      January 28, 2014, 12:58PM
    • Booing at the tennis is ok, seriously? I can't believe the justifications. Gamesmanship, slowness, sore loser, impatience, money paid for tickets. I'd like to see just one of these boo(e)rs on the court for just half an hour. What a shame those who believe they are entitled to boo have such appalling double standards. 'I don't like that behaviour so I'm going to lower myself to prove it'. According to the attached poll, yours is not the community standard the vast majority hold.

      Commenter
      sdh
      Location
      melbourne
      Date and time
      January 28, 2014, 1:15PM
    • Actually what would have been more logical is if the crowd had been watching the game, you would have seen him pull up a couple of times before going off for his injury time out. Was truly a disturbing thing to hear the crowd heckle a world class athlete like that.

      Commenter
      At the Game
      Location
      NSW
      Date and time
      January 28, 2014, 1:20PM
    • The crowd is now perceived to be a bunch of spoiled brats. Also logical - really!

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Date and time
      January 28, 2014, 1:36PM
    • thats normally what nadal does when he is loosing. he tries to disrupt the opponents rythum. havent you seen his matches?

      Commenter
      sade_in
      Location
      sydney
      Date and time
      January 28, 2014, 1:44PM
    • If Rafa didn't have a history of gamesmanship, then they wouldn't have booed him.

      Stan knew what he had done in the past, they could see Stan's reaction, and they were feeding off of that.

      My first instinct when he pulled up and the timing of the injury was, 'here we go again" and when he had to leave the court for treatment on his back (which can usually be done on the court), Stan's reaction, and the crowd was one of suspicion... and fair enough to given is recent history.

      Commenter
      BA Sports
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      January 28, 2014, 1:54PM

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