U.S. Open: Rafael Nadal suffers cramping at press conference
After a straight set win over David Nalbandian in the third round of the U.S. Open Sunday, defending champion and second-seeded Rafael Nadal conducted a press conference in English and was deep into his Spanish portion when Nadal put his hands over his eyes, then suddenly slumped to the floor under a large table.
United States Tennis Assn. officials cleared the room of media but what was happening could be seen on television screens in the working press room. Three people began working on Nadal and after about 5 minutes he put a leg on the table. Someone said, "He's OK," and then ice, water and Gatorade were offered to the still-prostrate Nadal.
After a few more minutes Nadal sat up and a few minutes after that he made a statement in English and then finished his Spanish-language interview.
In English, very simply, Nadal said he had begun cramping and the pain caused him to slip to the floor.
His agent, Benito Perez-Barbadillo, said Nadal told him the pain was so intense that he didn't want to cry and that's why he covered his eyes and went under the table.
Perez-Barbadillo said Nadal had drunk two bottles of water and a bottle of Gatorade as well as having lunch before doing his media conferences.
"I just have cramping in my leg. I have cramping in front and behind. That's why it was so painful. That's all," Nadal said.
In the match before Nadal beat Nalbandian in Arthur Ashe Stadium, Italy's Flavia Pennetta became physically ill on the court in Louis Armstrong Stadium. "I was feeling really bad," she said. "I think it was because it's really humid. It's hot. Also when you have a lot of emotion in the court. My body needed to breathe and I started to maybe have the sensation of throwing up. But nothing came, with nothing inside, it just wouldn't come out."
-- Diane Pucin, reporting from New York
Photo: Rafael Nadal of Spain waits as a trainer works on his foot during his match against David Nalbandian of Argentina during the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York on Sunday. Credit: Charlie Riedel / Associated Press