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A spectator was kicked out of Rod Laver Arena on Thursday night after reportedly calling Rafael Nadal an “OCD f***” and flipping him the middle finger at the Australian Open.
Nadal was in action against American Michael Mmoh when the match came to a bizarre halt in the second set.
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With Nadal preparing to serve, the female spectator yelled out abuse to the World No.2 and could be seen giving him the middle finger.
“Hurry up, you OCD f***,” the woman reportedly said.
A bemused Nadal couldn’t help but crack a smile, watching as security escorted her out of Melbourne Park.
Other spectators booed and jeered as the woman was kicked out of the arena.
When asked during his on-court interview if he knew the woman, Nadal replied: “No, and honestly, I don't want to know.”
The 34-year-old was equally as perplexed when fronting his media conference less than an hour later.
“Maybe she had too much gin or tequila. I don't know,” Nadal told reporters.
“Honestly it was strange situation, but funny at the same time.
“I was surprised, yes, but at the same time was thinking, ‘Poor girl’, because probably she was drunk or something like this.”
Fans also flocked to social media to condemn the unruly behaviour.
Some nonsensical scenes as a lady fan is escorted off the stadium as she was giving the finger. #Nadal trying to serve out the 2nd set which he does at love with some good serves. Perhaps she had too much to drink but such behaviour from fans is a disgrace #AusOpen
— rajesh (@rajeshworld) February 11, 2021
What a disgrace, people are in lockdown for a long time, ready to do anything to see a live match again and that woman in the audience doesn't realise how privileged she is sitting there or simply stoppee caring about anything. #weird #facepalm #AustralianOpen #tennis #nadal
— Dim Bauer (@DimBauer) February 11, 2021
She was a disgrace 😡
— Angie Makris (@MakrisAngie) February 11, 2021
😳 No class!
— Magda B 🌻🌻 (@bonney_magda) February 11, 2021
@Sniperbula33 This is what is done with people who doesn’t know how to behave on a tennis court!
— Diegada (@diegoalonsousa) February 11, 2021
Nadal cruises into Australian Open third round
The unusual incident livened up an otherwise routine match for the 2009 Open champion.
Despite entering the first grand slam of the year with concerns about a back injury, Nadal is yet to drop a set in his opening two matches.
In positive news for a deep run through the tournament, the 20-time major winner has been on court for a total time of under four hours.
Nadal produced some spectacular backhand shots against Mmoh to give old foes like Novak Djokovic plenty to think about.
“I have been improving my backhand doing all my career,” Nadal said.
“When I was younger, I was able to run everywhere; now I need to have better shots on the backhand.”
Nadal admits his back spasms are not fully under control but continues to do everything he can to recover.
“If you see my motion on the serve it is different than what I would like,” he said.
“I just keep fighting for a solution.
“The preparation the last 15 days have not been the ideal one, but here I am. I won two matches in straight sets.”
He will meet Englishman Cameron Norrie in the the third round after the World No.68 defeated Russia’s Roman Safiullin in four sets.
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