In case you haven't heard the latest, Rafa did not want to play doubles with Nick K at a recent Nike promotion event, he asked to be paired up with someone else, that's if what you read is correct. The following clip is Nadal at around the same age as Nick is now, Wimbledon 2007.
The rather comical set of circumstances stem from Nadal being too busy with his own pedantic routine to even realize that his opponent went to pick up a new racket from his bag. Players do this with each ball change.
Rafa obviously did not appreciate the break in his routine so then he let Soderling know in his own little way, by showing him the new balls however when you watch it I would question the timing of it. It was gamesmanship for anyone who knows anything about tennis.
So my point is this. Rafa apparently did not appreciate Robin Soderling's apparent lack of respect for his pedantic routine. Yet if Rafa actually looked up to see what his opponent was doing rather than have his head clearly in his own little zone he would have seen that he didn't have anyone to serve to.
A player is quite within his rights to grab a new racket and quite often you will see a player do it perhaps a little late and then offer an apology to the opponent. It's usually accepted.
Rafa is a rather complex character and his routines are the things legends are made of but they sometimes can wear a little thin as he takes the full 25 seconds between points with usually not a lot to spare.
So this incident was not a verbal stoush like the Wawrinka/ Kyrgios one that gathered many headlines but it was one that was interesting to say the least. Rafa has obviously made it clear that he did not appreciate Nick's effort against Stan but Rafa has to remember that at around the same age he possessed some attributes that could have been tidied up also.
Some players need to rewind the clock and look at their own silly ways before passing judgement on others.....
Silly sport tennis......