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Rafael Nadal defeated American Michael Mmoh in straight sets on Thursday to advance to the third round of the Australian Open but not before his match was disrupted by an unruly heckler who was eventually escorted out by event security.
After taking the first set 6-1, Nadal was serving for the second set at 5-4 when a woman began to yell out.
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It’s not clear what she was exactly yelling out but the more than 21,000 fans in attendance at Rod Laver Arena booed her, at which point she flipped her middle finger up — seemingly in the direction of the 20-time Grand Slam champ.
At first displeased with the disruption, Nadal began to laugh after seeing the woman’s unfriendly gesture, even pointing to himself to ask, “Who, me?”
Security advised the woman to settle down but just as Nadal was setting up to serve, she again shouted, this time an obvious obscenity.
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Nadal, still amused and bewildered at the situation, couldn’t help but laugh as the woman was eventually escorted out of the stadium.
He shook off the disruption and hit two aces to finish off the set.
Nadal defeated the 177th-ranked Mmoh in one hour, 47 minutes in straight sets, 6-1, 6-4, 6-2.
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He said after the match that it was a “positive evening” despite the disruption, and when asked if he knew the woman — considering how personally offended she seemed — he said he didn’t know her and “honestly I don’t want to know.”
He will take on Cameron Norrie from the U.K. in the fourth round on Friday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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