Spanish tennis legend Rafael Nadal gracefully coped with a rather awkward situation during his Australian Open second-round match, simply smiling at a fan who showed him the middle finger from the stands.
The incident took place in the middle of the match between Nadal and American Michael Mmoh the Rod Laver Arena when the 20-time Grand Slam winner was serving for the second set.
The game was suddenly interrupted when a woman began shouting profanities at the tennis icon.
“Hurry up, you OCD f*ck!” she yelled, apparently annoyed at Nadal’s notoriously long service ritual, before showing the middle finger to the player.
A shocked Nadal burst into laughter, while the woman continued to flip the bird in the stands.
“What… me?” he asked, laughing off the bizarre incident.
The crowd booed the woman, who continued her rowdy performance, gesticulating wildly and interrupting Nadal’s serve, prompting security to escort her from the stadium.
Fortunately, the incident didn’t affect the Spanish legend, who hammered in three aces in a row to win the second set. Nadal eased past Mmoh 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 in an hour and 47 minutes to book a spot in the round of the tournament.
When asked at the post-match press conference about the incident, Nadal said it was “strange, but funny,” adding that he felt sorry for the woman.
“I don’t know what happened. Maybe she took in too much gin or tequila. Honestly, it was a strange situation, but funny at the same time,” he said.
“It’s funny somebody doing the finger to me. I was surprised, yes, but at the same time, I was thinking: ‘Poor girl.’ Because probably she was drunk or something like this.”