Rafael Nadal was at the receiving end of some distasteful heckling from a spectator during his second-round match at the 2021 Australian Open. A woman in the stands showed Nadal the finger and hurled further obscenities towards him mid-way through the match, before being escorted out of the stadium.
In a recent interview, the lady doubled down on her stance and called Rafael Nadal 'incredibly boring'. She found Nadal's match against Mmoh to be an uninteresting affair, and she believes that is the reason why her act got as much coverage as it did.
Anna (real name withheld) also revealed that she was primarily at the Rod Laver Arena to watch the encounter between Coco Gauff and Elina Svitolina, and that she chose to stay a bit longer after that match got over.
“No I’m certainly not a fan of Nadal, I think he’s incredibly boring and he goes through all those OCD rituals all the time,” Anna said. “The only reason I was happy to be at the match because I wanted to see the previous female match (between) Coco Gauff and Elina Svitolina. And I stuck around to watch boring Nadal. I think too the very fact that apparently pictures of me have gone viral around the world, reflects on how incredibly boring his matches are because why would you focus on a spectator?”
Rafael Nadal took the incident in his stride and laughed away the woman’s insults. The World No. 2 even went a step further and showed her the thumbs-up sign, before ultimately getting back to serving out the second set successfully.
Nadal also gave his thoughts on the incident during his post-match interview on Thursday. The Spaniard surmised that the woman might have been intoxicated, which was confirmed by Anna during the interview.
However, the lady revealed that she had consumed champagne - and not gin or tequila, as Rafael Nadal had suggested.
“No I wasn’t drinking gin or tequila,” she added. “I did have one (drink) at the tennis, I had a glass of bubbly.”
Rafael Nadal looked at me, and that’s when I flipped the bird: Woman who heckled the Spaniard
Following Anna’s act, many wondered if her provocative gesture was meant for Rafael Nadal or for chair umpire Fergus Murphy, who had politely asked her to stop her antics via the microphone.
But in her interview, Anna confirmed that her gesture was indeed directed towards the World No. 2.
“I just called out that ‘get over your OCD rituals’ and when he was serving and then he looked at me, that’s when I flipped the bird,” continued the woman.
Anna admitted that her act of calling out Rafael Nadal’s pre-serve routine wasn't in the best taste. But she added that the overwhelming crowd support for Nadal made her root for his opponent Michael Mmoh.
“No exactly (not very woke to tell him to get over his OCD rituals) but I had been watching it for an hour or more and I was going to the guy actually because so many people seemed to go for Nadal,” added Anna. “I was feeling sorry for the American guy who was doing fairly well.”