Toni Nadal: I wish people knew what Rafael was trying to do

Matt King/Getty Images AsiaPac
Matt King/Getty Images AsiaPac

The Australian Open has been over for two full days now, but the look of pain on Rafa’s face, and the tears he shed whilst apologizing to the crowd for not being able to deliver a good performance, will resonate with those of us who love Rafa and not just his achievements. The sound of the crowd booing him may always ring in our minds. We will take comfort in knowing that we are not alone; Chris Bradnam, ex British tennis player and Eurosport commentator, described Rafa getting booed as the “worst sound in tennis,” very aptly so.

The vociferous Toni Nadal spoke to The Australian about his nephew’s plight on the night of the match, and true to form, he did not mince his words.

“Just my opinion, but I don’t think the crowd should be doing this.

“Rafael has always given his best at this tournament, all tournaments. He tries to treat all of the people with respect.

“He had to continue. He knows that people have paid money for tickets to be here for the match, the grand slam final. He knows a lot of people are seeing the television. He does not want them to have, how do I say, the stopped show.

“Whatever happens to his body, he will finish for them. The crowd here had always been very good for him and Rafael will not complain about no thing, ever.

“But he is disappointed, of course. I wish it had not been like this for him. He wanted to play for the crowd and if he was not going to win, he wanted Wawrinka to be winning a match point. Not shaking hands when a match is stopped. This is important.”

“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.

“The crowd goes here and there with what they think. They go up and down. Sometimes the crowd don’t think, maybe. They are allowed to be whatever they want, but they should know that Rafael played for them. He knows that if he cannot win, he must finish for the crowd.

“I think they should think about this. He had spirit, I would say, to finish.”

In his post-match interview, Rafa gave full benefit of the doubt to the crowd, saying that he was proud of the way he was treated and supported. An epitome of sportsmanship; and also perhaps why it hurts so much to have it questioned.

Rafa will be back at AO 2015. Meanwhile, stay tuned for another winning season!

All quotes: Crowd’s boos add to pain for Rafael Nadal, says coach Toni by Will Swanton, Click on link for full story. 


  1. Rafa, you are an amazing champion. I cried for you and how unfair it was to get an injury in the final. I blame Stan for stirring up the crowd with his ridiculous antics. He was implying that there was no injury. I hope Rafa sees this from someone he considered a great guy and friend.. I do believe in karma. Rafa you are loved and respected. Please don’t blame all Aussies.

  2. The people that booed are not true followers of the sport or they would have known that it is not part of Rafael’s character to fake injury to gain an advantage over his opponent or to give anything less than his best effort even when he is in pain. He is too genuine and proud for that. It must have hurt him and his team and family to witness that. It hurt me on his behalf and I am sure I am not alone. I have a son of the same age who continued in a contest with a broken toe, so I can imagine how much it took for him to continue to play, determination and dedication. Those people were just mean spirited and disrespectful to the both players, their teams and the fans, who completely understood there was a problem.The true fans made themselves heard at the ceremony and Rafael must have felt that warmth from them. His generous and gracious comments at the press conference regarding the incident just endorses what a true sportsman and champion Rafael Nadal is.

  3. I would not worry about the booing crowd!! You know u will always have that type of people!! Sometimes just comes out to be messy or rude. I know they are paying to be there but does not give u the right to be low class. Tis are no class people or young people. I don’t think Mr laver, and other VIP there were booing!! Hah!!!! As for this Richus guy delete this guy!! Not worth wasting our time on him!! I’m done with it!!! Vamos Rafa!!!!

  4. Unfortunately there are many ignorants all around the world but at the end the crowd understood what was happening and showing all the love and admiration they have for Nadal, I’ve never seen so many applauses for the player who had lost like I saw after this AO final

  5. Rafaaaaaaaaa U still Champ & Best everrrrrrr. Be On & Do nt care what the haters talking or think about U…. They are envious and embittered because You are destroyed all… Be strong

  6. Yo me dí cuenta que Nadal estaba con mucho dolor físico y me dió muchísima pena verlo que no podía jugar su mejor tennis y sin embargo, con gran valor y sentido de honor, siguió jugando para no defraudar al público. Un acto de valor e integridad increíble a mi parecer!

  7. yo pienso que el no se tiene que estresar por unos ingnorante que no saben reconocer el excelente juego que hizo puso todo lo de por eso es el numero uno mejor jugador no importa lo que hagas esa misma gente que te booed te van aplaudir lamentablemente el ser humano es asi que tenga un ano lleno de bendiciones

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