Sir Ian McKellen spotted in funny Rafa Nadal moment at Wimbledon

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Sir Ian McKellen became an internet sensation after a funny moment in Rafa Nadal's Wimbledon fourth round match. Pic: BBC/Getty
Sir Ian McKellen became an internet sensation after a funny moment in Rafa Nadal's Wimbledon fourth round match. Pic: BBC/Getty

Sir Ian McKellen, the legendary British actor best known for portraying 'Gandalf' in The Lord of the Rings film franchise, has become a viral sensation after a hilarious moment during Rafael Nadal's fourth round win at Wimbledon.

McKellen was in the stands to see the 22-time grand slam champion power past Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp 6-4 6-2 7-6 (8-6) to book his place in the quarter-finals, and keep his quest for a calendar year Grand Slam alive.

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The 83-year-old actor unwittingly became the centre of attention on social media after being sprung in a funny moment involving the Spaniard.

Footage from the BBC's television broadcast showed a topless Nadal getting changed into a new shirt on court, before panning to McKellen watching from the stands.

The broadcast focused on the actor for several moments as he peered intently in the direction of the court through a pair of binoculars.

It's unclear if the Hollywood star was checking out a topless Nadal but it was all the content needed for viewers to have a field day on social media.

Rafa Nadal and Taylor Fritz meet in last eight

Nadal's win saw him set up a showdown with American 11th seed Taylor Fritz at SW19 on Wednesday for a spot in the semi-final, and a potential date with Australian Nick Kyrgios.

The 36-year-old Nadal had also beaten 21st seed van de Zandschulp on his way to the Roland Garros crown and there never looked much doubt about his progress apart from a late show of resistance from the Dutchman who saved three match points in the tiebreak.

There was never, however, going to be the same sort of race against the clock to beat the 11pm curfew that Novak Djokovic had won the night before, with Nadal taking care of business at the fourth attempt.

He continues to win despite his attempts to disguise physical ailments.

When asked about his abdomen being strapped, Nadal was the model of politeness before he gently chided his questioner: "Sorry, but I'm a little bit tired of talking about my body."

Fritz had earlier roared past Australia's battling qualifier Jason Kubler, ending the Brisbane man's glorious six-win run with a comfortable straight-sets win, 6-3 6-1 6-4.

That extends his winning streak on grass to eight matches after his triumph in Eastbourne last month.

Pictured here, Taylor Fritz celebrates a point against Jason Kubler in the Wimbledon fourth round.
Taylor Fritz celebrates a point against Jason Kubler in the Wimbledon fourth round. Pic: Getty

"It is crazy to go from where I was at maybe mentally after Queen's (Club), like feeling injured, I've just lost like three matches in a row, to now I'm in my first slam quarter-final," Fritz said.

"It's a big jump. It's so interesting. It's kind of like how tennis is. One, two good weeks, five or six good matches in a row, can kind of just change everything."

with AAP

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