Rafael Nadal’s attempt to win an eighth French Open title was momentarily disrupted when a shirtless, masked man bearing a lighted flare ran onto the Roland Garros court during the second set.
The man was quickly subdued by security, but he did get rather close to Nadal, who was ready to sprint to the exit. Play was only briefly stopped and, although Nadal seemed somewhat unnerved, he won the second set and went on to beat David Ferrer 6-3, 6-2, 6-3. Nadal’s skittishness is understandable; twenty years ago, Monica Seles was stabbed by a fan who ran onto the court during a match in Hamburg. During the 2009 French Open final, a fan ran onto the court and tried to place a red cap on Roger Federer’s head.
“I felt a little bit scared in the first moment,” he told NBC’s John McEnroe after the match. “These kinds of things are impossible to predict. When these sorts of things happen, we’re lucky to have very good security around.”
Guy with a torch ran on the court, got very close to Rafael Nadal: twitter.com/MichaelDavSmit…
— Michael David Smith (@MichaelDavSmith) June 9, 2013
— Rafael Nadal Fans (@RafaelNadalFC) June 9, 2013