January 29, 2020 / 9:24 AM / 19 days ago

After Federer last year, Nadal encounters tight Australian Open security

Tennis - Australian Open - Quarter Final - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia - January 29, 2020. Spain's Rafael Nadal during his quarter final match against Austria's Dominic Thiem. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - World number one Rafa Nadal got a taste of the tight security at the Australian Open on Wednesday when he was stopped at a checkpoint by a diligent security official who demanded the winner of 19 Grand Slam titles show his accreditation.

After explaining that he did not have his pass on him as he was training outside, Nadal was cleared to go through the barrier in the halls of Melbourne Park only when a second guard stepped in to familiarize his colleague with one of the sport’s greatest players.

A video of the exchange captured by broadcaster Eurosport was later posted on the ATP’s twitter account, and shows the 2009 champion smiling and patting the first official on his shoulder before walking away.

Nadal’s great rival Roger Federer similarly found out that rules are rules at Melbourne Park in 2019 when the 20-times Grand Slam winner was blocked from entering a locker room by a security guard.

Nadal was in action against Dominic Thiem for a spot in the semi-finals in the night session on Wednesday.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Chopra

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