Rafael Nadal received a very personal congratulations by a Rafanatic after his 6-7 (3), 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 fourth round win over Gael Monfils at the US Open last night.
While changing out his shirt a man jumped from the front row, leapt onto the court, planted a *smooch* on the Majorcan Matador, and tried to grab a hug before security pulled him away.
He was asked about the incident in his post-match presser:
Q. What did you think when the man came out of the stands and came up to you?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, for me it wasn't the problem. The guy was really nice (laughter.)
Q. Did he say anything?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yes. He was a great fan. He said, I love you, and he kiss me. (laughter.)
Q. Was he speaking Spanish?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, in English, but I understand that. (laughter.)
Interestingly, a man loudly shouted out "I LOVE YOU RAFA!!!" right before his first serve at the start of the match which caused a sly smile by the 6-time Grand Slammer.
Clearly the security at the US Open needs to be reviewed so something like this is prevented in the future. Rafa kept a good attitude about the entire situation which, luckily, didn't turn out to be dangerous.
And, just for the record, I was NOT at the Open last night so my hands (and lips) are clean.
UPDATE: The man was arrested for "interference with a sporting event". Uh, I'm thinking it was more a "crime of passion" but that's just me.
(video via Meriko100)