Nadal’s Mysterious Nap Between Sets Stuns Soderling and Crowd
PARIS (Sportsman’s Daily Wire Service) Rafael Nadal captured his fifth French Open and his seventh career Grand Slam tournament Sunday when he defeated Robin Soderling of Sweden in straight sets 6-4, 6-2, 6-4. The win moved Nadal ahead of rival Roger Federer as the number one ranked men’s tennis player in the world.
But what puzzled Soderling and the capacity crowd and Roland Garros was Nadal’s decision to take a nap (see photo) in between the first and second sets. There were raised eyebrows when Nadal didn’t switch sides of the net and simply plopped himself down on his back and went to sleep.
“Highly unusual,” said Soderling describing the in match shut-eye. “I’m not sure if it was gamesmanship, exhaustion, or simply a cry for attention, but we were all standing around looking at each other like ‘who should wake him?’”
Finally, ball boy Pierre Luc-Ponty stirred the 24 year old Spaniard from his slumber by singing a rousing rendition of Les Deux Rengaines, the popular World War II hit from 1944, which was met with a chorus of cheers interspersed with cat calls and boos from the overflowing Parisian crowd.
Nadal was given a warning, but was allowed to continue the match where he quickly dispensed of the hard hitting Soderling.
“Embarrassed? Absolutely. I’ve gone hours without sleeping before” said Nadal answering his own question.
Nadal then answered several more of his own questions prompting a thorough psychological exam which immediately followed the trophy ceremony.