August 18, 2011
When a waiter says not to touch a plate because it's hot, listen. Rafael Nadal found that out the hard way this week when he burned his fingers while out at dinner.
Nadal was at one of those Japanese teppanyaki restaurants where skilled chefs cook dinner on a steel grill in front of seated patrons. (Think Benihana.) There were a number of plates in front of him, one of which had been recently moved from the surface of the hot grill surface. He reached out to grab it and burned his fingers immediately.
When Rafa told his camp he burned his fingers, they thought he was kidding. It wasn't until blisters started forming that they realized he had scalded the index and middle fingers on his right hand.
The 10-time Grand Slam champion has worn heavy bandages on both fingers since beginning play at the Western & Southern Open. Since Nadal is a lefty, the burns are on his non-dominant hand. He still has to use the right hand for his serve toss and backhands.
Nadal is the third tennis star in the past year to suffer an injury in a restaurant/banquet setting. Serena Williams cut her foot on broken glass in a Munich restaurant last summer. Earlier this year, Kim Clijsters turned her ankle while dancing at her nephew's wedding.
The moral of the story for tennis players: order room service.