Rafael Nadal news: Spaniard says players have to expect heckling

Rafael Nadal

Spain’s Rafael Nadal says that top players have to expect to cop some abuse from the crowd every now and then.

Nadal said that he felt sorry for Naomi Osaka but said that fans will continue to express themselves at courtside.

He said that he could imagine that it would be hard for Osaka but said that it comes with being a top star today.

“In the real world, that happens, you know? I feel very sorry for her,” said Nadal.

“We are very lucky people that we’re able to enjoy amazing experiences because we are tennis players. Even if is terrible to hear, we need to be prepared for that, no?

“I understand that probably Naomi suffered a lot with these kind of issues that she has, mental [health] issues. The only thing that I wish her is recovering well from that and wish her all the very best.”

Osaka has returned to the court after a mental health break and says that she isn’t sure why the heckling got to her as much as it did.

“To be honest, I’ve gotten heckled before, like it didn’t really bother me,” she said.

“But heckled here [Indian Wells], I’ve watched a video of Venus and Serena get heckled here and if you’ve never watched it, you should watch it.

“And I don’t know why but it went into my head and it got replayed a lot. I’m trying not to cry. But I just wanted to say thank you and congratulations [to Kudermetova]. Yeah, just thank you.”

Soon to be former No 1 men’s player, Daniil Medvedev also said that he felt for Osaka.

“It’s tough for everybody because I can feel for Naomi, I mean I felt not great in Australia.

“I can feel the [for] fans that [are] maybe gonna say ‘what the hell, they’re getting millions, they should be ready for everything.

“[But at] the same time we are humans, we all make mistakes, good decisions. Sometimes we feel bad, sometimes we feel good. So basically I can understand that Naomi didn’t feel that great when she heard it and I can completely understand her feelings.”