WATCH: Nadal Shows Disgust At Fan Taunting His Opponent During Barcelona Opener

WATCH: Nadal Shows Disgust At Fan Taunting His Opponent During Barcelona Opener

by Nurein Ahmed

Everything flowed smoothly during Rafael Nadal's winning start to his 2024 Barcelona Open campaign except for one moment when a fan made fun of his opponent.

Nadal, who had been out of action since January, was playing his first match in over two and a half months. But he didn't lack any match sharpness in a performance full of energy and zeal.

There are obvious areas of improvement without a doubt, but he will be delighted with restoring a semblance of normality and confidence into his season, which is mirroring a farewell tour.

It's not known whether Nadal will play beyond 2024, but the 22-time Grand Slam champion says a decision regarding his long-term future is expected before Roland Garros.

He cited his main ambition before then as playing in Barcelona and Madrid, possibly for one last time. The 12-time champion came through in a rather routine fashion, dropping just five games to the Italian World No. 62.

But Nadal was far from happy with the behavior of one fan who audibly scoffed at Cobolli by shouting in Italian, "Arrivaterci Flavio," which translated to "goodbye Flavio," as he faced his elimination from the tournament.

It was expected that the 12-time champion would get the majority of the support, but the reaction from the crowd was uncalled for. Nadal, who was preparing to serve out the match on his second match point, paused and shook his head in disgust before raising an arm of apology for his opponent.

The 37-year-old duly delivered to win just his third match of an injury-riddled season and will face fourth seed Alex de Minaur in the second round on Wednesday.

He leads the head-to-head 3-1, but this will be a major test of his title credentials this week. Most importantly, it will determine Nadal's fitness against a top-ranked player. The Australian is the first top 20 player Nadal will have faced on a match court in over a year (excluding exhibitions).


You may also like