Context: Nadal just won the first set in a close tiebreaker against González. During the change over, Nadal called for the official tournament trainer. After no less than two minutes, the trainer ran to Nadal, who pointed towards his abdomen.
After some intense kneading, and after the allotted time expired, rains started to fall on Flushing Meadows. The players remained on the court in hopes of the patch of bad clouds passing over.
But when the rains showed no signs of abating, the players were allowed indoors for some shelter.
Thirty minutes later, with the courts blow dried and the lines towel wiped, the players started their warm up before the second set.
It was during this warm up that Fernando González hit a practice serve directly into Nadal’s injured abdominal muscle, on the side that the trainer had just worked.
Although the Chilean apologized, and Nadal was quick to accept, I believe they both knew it was intentional. A direct insult. A reminder of Nadal’s preexisting condition.
It’s called gamesmanship.
Watch the video to see for yourself.
[Clip pilfered from ESPN2]