Rafael Nadal’s coach, Uncle Toni, hit out at the crowd for booing his nephew during the men’s Australian Open final on Sunday.
After injuring his back, Nadal left the court for some 7 minutes down 21 in the second set. Upon returning the 2009 champion and world No. 1 was greeted with a cascade of boos.
According to Sydney Morning Herald, Uncle Toni wasn’t pleased:
“I don’t think the crowd should be doing this,” Toni Nadal said. “Rafael has always given his best at this tournament, all tournaments. He knows that people have paid money for tickets to be here for the match, the grand slam final. He does not want them to have, how do I say, the stopped show.
“The crowd did not know what was happening. I see this. But I think if you do not know something for sure, why say anything? Rafael enjoys this tournament, he enjoys this crowd, he loves Rod Laver court. There are good memories here. But I wish people knew what Rafael was trying to do. Sometimes the crowd don’t think, maybe.”
During his presser, Nadal wasn’t as upset.
“Sometimes is tough for the crowd to understand,” Nadal said. “The crowd, only thing wants to do is enjoy great match. They paid ticket to watch the best match possible, and I was not able to offer that to them for moments.
“I wanted to try my best until the end. But I can understand very well the reaction. They understand later that I was bad. I was trying all what I can try on the court with that situation,” he added. “You never will heard me talk badly about the crowd here.”
Uncle Toni also told Cadena Ser’s El Larguero that Rafa’s back should be fine.
“The doctor said it’s a tightening of the muscles and a few days rest should be enough,” said Toni. “He went into the match after feeling twinges during the week but very minor ones that normally do not affect you at all.
“In the second game of the second set he felt a pinch. When I asked him after treatment what was happening he said ‘it’s over’.”
Uncle Toni said Rafa is still expected to play in Buenos Aires on February 10.
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