Alexander Zverev made Australian Open spectators queasy by revealing that he had ‘a lot of blood’ under his toenails after his win over Carlos Alcaraz.
The German world No.6 stunned the Wimbledon champion over four sets on Wednesday to set up a semi-final against third-seed Daniil Medvedev.
Zverev was interviewed on the court at the Rod Laver Arena after his victory but before he could give his first answer, one fan screamed: ‘Free! Free Palestine!’
It is the second time Zverev has been targeted by pro-Palestine protestors at Melbourne Park this year after they briefly halted his win over Cameron Norrie.
Play was stopped during his victory over the British No.1 when a protestor shouted ‘Free Palestine’ and proceeded to throw leaflets onto the court, before the spectator was dragged away and the playing surface was eventually cleared.
This time around, the protestor was loudly booed by fellow members of the crowd before Zverev restarted his conversation with interviewer Jim Courier.
Zverev then proceeded to give a stomach-turning answer when asked how he was feeling after a lot of time on the court.
‘Well, I have a lot of blood under my toenails so that’s quite painful,’ Zverev said. ‘I take them out every single match but then obviously when you’re playing and running a lot, they came back.
‘You know what, I would much rather feel the way I’m feeling right now with maybe a bit of pain here and there and be in the semi-finals, rather than be at home right now and watching the tournament.
‘That’s why I’m saying I’m fine. I’m happy to be here and ready to get going.’