Nadal's uncle criticizes Paris crowd

Updated: June 1, 2009, 4:56 PM ET
Reuters

MADRID -- Rafael Nadal's uncle and coach Toni Nadal called Roland Garros spectators stupid on Monday for their treatment of his nephew during his shock French Open loss to Robin Soderling.

[+] EnlargeToni Nadal
Matthew Stockman/Getty ImagesToni Nadal complained about spectators' treatment of his nephew in a radio interview.

The world No. 1 was booed by the French crowd when he retired injured from the Paris Masters at Bercy last year and found scant support among the Roland Garros spectators on Sunday during his failed bid for a fifth consecutive title.

In an interview with the Spanish radio station Cadena Ser, Toni Nadal said there was some truth to the phrase: "There is only one set of supporters that is worse than the French and that is the Parisians."

"They say it themselves and it's true, the Parisian crowd is pretty stupid. I think the French don't like it when a Spaniard wins," he added. "Wanting someone to lose is a slightly conceited way of amusing yourself. They show the stupidity of people who think themselves superior."

Nadal said after his loss to Soderling it appeared the crowd had been supporting the Swede rather than him at one point, which he called sad.

"This tournament is so important, such a beautiful tournament for me. Well, that's the way it is," he said. "But I wish when I'm back they can support me a bit more in key moments."