Kiss | Rafael Nadal | Sports | Tennis

Shirtless Rafael Nadal Attacked by Man Wanting Kiss at US Open


Following his win last night over Gael Monfils, a male fan ran on to the court to hug and kiss Rafael Nadal as he stood changing. The man was arrested immediately, as he should have been.

Nadal was graacious following the incident: "For me it wasn’t a problem. The guy was really nice. He was a great fan. He said, ‘I love you,’ and he kiss me.”

The NYT reports: "Nadal had just removed his shirt and was preparing for an on-court interview when the man suddenly emerged with a camera to approach him. Thirty minutes after the match, the police had a man in custody, and they handcuffed him to the bleachers alongside Court 5. A United States Tennis Association spokesman said the incident was being reviewed, as were on-court security procedures."


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  1. Well Raphael is cute but I wouldn't go to that trouble to get his attention. But to say the other guy "attacked" him is a bit strong...maybe accosted with a hug and kiss. I am glad Raphael seemed unfazed. Now what happened to the lady tennis player years ago with the knifing, that was attacking!

    Posted by: Rann | Sep 9, 2009 8:53:34 AM

  2. Thank you, you answered the question I have been searching for which was whether or not to place keywords when blog commenting.

    Posted by: mirc | Sep 9, 2009 9:35:30 AM

  3. "Well Raphael is cute but I wouldn't go to that trouble to get his attention. But to say the other guy "attacked" him is a bit strong...maybe accosted with a hug and kiss."

    Let's say a woman was walking down the street minding her business and some strange man came at her and forced a "hug and kiss" on her. Was she accosted or attacked? What would the POLICE say?

    Posted by: elg | Sep 9, 2009 9:45:41 AM

  4. Rafa is being diplomatic here cuz he doesn't want to appear homophobic & I'm happy he's not a bigot. However, I'm pretty sure that scared the hell out of him. I agree that if that happened to a female player it would not have been so cute. Somebody in security is going to get reprimanded for this.

    Posted by: scar2 | Sep 9, 2009 10:15:42 AM

  5. I don't care if this guy was doing what we would all LOVE to do, the security should have been waaaay more careful. Remember the Monica Seles Incident? Rafa was very gracious about this, but I was worried sick when I saw this live last night -- who was this nutball trying to get close to Rafa so quickly? Not funny at all, really.

    Posted by: michael | Sep 9, 2009 10:18:22 AM

  6. I don't find this amusing or funny at all. When does an overzealous fan cross the line and become 'crazed'? I think many tennis fans are still sensitive to fans running on court after the Monica Seles stabbing years ago.

    I wouldn't want some random stranger running up and kissing me, fan or not.

    Posted by: JTlvr | Sep 9, 2009 10:33:01 AM

  7. I think it's strange that some of you are assuming this person was gay...

    Clearly the person is some crazed, obsessed fan, athletes have plenty of those that are heterosexual.

    Posted by: James | Sep 9, 2009 10:44:43 AM

  8. @elg

    Not very similar situations. Raphael just won, congratulations were in order. Someone just got too enthusiastic. The situation you described would have been totally random.

    Posted by: lessthan | Sep 9, 2009 10:46:24 AM

  9. LESSTHAN I don't think it makes a difference. You don't go up to a person you don't know and try to kiss them or touch them like that.

    Posted by: James | Sep 9, 2009 10:59:07 AM

  10. God damn it, it was only 16 years ago that Monica Seles was stabbed on court. Has security already forgotten? Where were they on this? It's unacceptable.

    Posted by: Jordan | Sep 9, 2009 11:24:33 AM

  11. Rafa is a serious class act, and some folks in yellow shirts gonna be looking for a job.

    Posted by: MammaBear | Sep 9, 2009 12:09:23 PM

  12. "I think it's strange that some of you are assuming this person was gay..."

    James, nobody here suggested that he was.

    Posted by: GregV | Sep 9, 2009 3:46:25 PM

  13. The name is "Rafael"...the Spanish version, not the Italian "Raphael."

    Let's not draw any conclusions about this MANCRUSH but we have a hug, a kiss, a shirtless Nadal, and a "I love you." I guess it could have been an "I love you, man" "hetero" man-crush, however.

    Posted by: Robert | Sep 9, 2009 3:57:09 PM

  14. As irresistible of a man as Nadal is, I am jealous that that fan beat me. Though, in terms of politeness, not the best way to go about doing that.

    Posted by: Erin | Sep 9, 2009 4:08:34 PM

  15. And yet, this still managed to be LESS creepy than Pam Shriver asking Michael Phelps if she could see his speedo. I felt dirty after that one.

    Posted by: stephen k | Sep 9, 2009 4:16:15 PM

  16. It is inexcusable that security is so lax that this can happen, but New York City prosecutors take on-field intrusions very seriously, and this guy will regret it. He'll probably serve more time than the attacker of Monica Seles, who got off lightly, according to this:

    Posted by: Mark | Sep 9, 2009 6:18:40 PM

  17. What's with all the pathetic gay stalkers embarrassing themselves and the rest of us in the past few days? The one that stripped and begged for some lip-locking with George Clooney was just tragic.

    Posted by: Ray | Sep 9, 2009 6:52:24 PM

  18. The guy wasn't Europe and South America guys kiss each other every time they say hi. The media is making a big deal because of what happened to Monica Seles in the past. Rafa handled the situation really well and wanted to actually talk to the fan...he even stated that this wasn't a big deal....but once again the media is making it a big deal

    Posted by: Jake | Sep 9, 2009 7:54:19 PM

  19. Like that insane fan, I am crazy in love with Nadal and that fabulous NYC shirt he wore during the press conference.

    Posted by: Jon | Sep 9, 2009 8:22:18 PM

  20. I was there and it was surprising and creepy. Late at night security is a little more lax (even here in perpetually "orange" alert NYC!), and thoughts of Monica Seles did run through my mind. I'm all for enthusiastic fandom, and I took my share of shirtless Rafa photos (sadly from many rows up) but this was crossing the line. I had some blowhard hater two rows behind me (who was Spanish, even) dissing Nadal the entire match. Not sure what he was so against, but it was very obnoxious. What if it was him? Rafa has SO much class. If only he can beat Fed and win a US Open!

    Posted by: So Left I'm Right | Sep 9, 2009 10:11:11 PM

  21. rafa nadal is all kinds of classy wonderful and beautiful, but the usta needs to step up security.

    Posted by: nic | Sep 10, 2009 1:55:28 AM

  22. "James, nobody here suggested that he was."

    Someone said Rafa was simply trying to not come off as homophobic. What would that have to do with anything?

    Posted by: James | Sep 10, 2009 2:40:03 AM

  23. Seconded on the reminders of the Monica Seles stabbing, that was the first thing that I thought of watching this.

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Sep 10, 2009 11:25:34 AM

  24. I agree that the fan was crazed. But I do thank him for one thing. I think we get to Rafa with his shirt of for a longer period of time had he not "attacked". Nice timing of the assault. Every cloud has a .......

    Also, anyone ever seen clips of when Hank Aaron hit his record homerun? I believe some fans made it on to the field. Dangerous? Yes. But all's well that ends well.

    Posted by: David Flood | Sep 10, 2009 7:18:50 PM

  25. "Someone said Rafa was simply trying to not come off as homophobic. What would that have to do with anything?"

    Oh, now I see what you meant. But I would take that as refering to the type of homophobia that results in a phobic overreaction to a situation that an individual might feel compromises his own reputation as a heterosexual.

    I remember once when a straight guy from the Middle East who didn't know I was gay tried to hold my hand in a redneck neighborhood as a sign of friendship. I consciously tried not to come across as homophobic (just as was suggested by a poster that Nadal might have done). It might seem ironic that I as a gay guy was trying not to seem homophobic toward a straight guy, but often the person's actual sexual orientation is irrelevant.

    Posted by: GregV | Sep 10, 2009 10:12:01 PM

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