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American Tim Smyczekmay have exited the Australian Open following his loss to Rafael Nadal, but he won’t be forgotten in a hurry.
Smyczek produced a moment of sportsmanship that certainly wasn’t lost on the crowd or his opponent, who both gave the world number 112 a standing ovation following the five set duel.
The 27-year-old was locked in a battle with Nadal deep in the fifth set before a crowd member yelled out during the Spaniard’s ball toss, putting him off.
It resulted in a fault, but Smyczek called for Nadal to replay his first serve rather than it be called a fault.
Nadal used his post-match interview to congratulate the American for his incredible act of sportsmanship.
“Firstly I want to congratulate Tim, he is a real gentlemen,” the 28-year-old was quoted by Yahoo Sports.
“What he did in the last game was … not a lot of people would do something like this at 6-5 in the fifth after four hours.”
Nadal will now face Dudi Sela on Friday for a place in the fourth round.