By Alberto Amalfi
Tennis and tequila don’t always mix, but Rafael Nadal didn’t flinch at a rare shot of rude ‘tude.
Nadal smiled off a ranting heckler during his Australian Open second round win.
An apparently inebriated fan gave the king of clay the one-finger salute as he was set to serve for the second set up 6-1, 5-4 on American qualifier Michael Mmoh.
Watch the female fan flip off the 20-time Grand Slam champion in an effort to disrupt his rhythm.
Nadal’s initial reaction was a “who me?” gesture and wide grin
A fan just gave Rafa the finger. Look at his reaction: “what, me? “ 😂 pic.twitter.com/fY3npCNTrn
— Tennis GIFs 🎾🎥 (@tennis_gifs) February 11, 2021
That didn’t deter the rambunctious fan who continued yelling and again flipped the bird at the second-seeded Spaniard a point later prompting fellow fans to boo the disrespect.
Eventually, security came and escorted the party-pooper from Rod Laver Arena.
The outburst didn’t deter Nadal from a 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 triumph that sent him into a third-round meeting with Briton Cameron Norrie.
Asked about the interaction in his post-match presser, Nadal chalked up the “strange situation” to liquid courage.
“I don’t know. Maybe she take too much gin or tequila,” Nadal said. “I don’t know. But honestly was strange situation, but, yeah, funny at the same time. You know, sometimes there is people for everything around the world.”
The two-time Olympic gold-medal champion conceded it was the first time he’s ever been flipped off during a match.
“For me was funny,” Nadal said with a smile. “Honestly, somebody doing the finger to me with, I don’t know the reason, but yeah. I was surprised, yes. But at the same time was thinking, poor girl. Because probably she was drunk or something like this. I don’t know.”
Photo credit: Andy Cheung/Getty