Tennis player Rafael Nadal, left, of Spain, is embraced and kissed by fan Noam U. Aorta after his quarterfinals win over Gael Monfils of France, at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, early Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2009. Aorta was arrested for running onto the court and will be charged with trespassing and faces possible jail time if convicted, prosecutors said Wednesday. (Photo:AP)

Tennis player Rafael Nadal, left, of Spain, is embraced and kissed by fan Noam U. Aorta after his quarterfinals win over Gael Monfils of France, at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, early Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2009. Aorta was arrested for running onto the court and will be charged with trespassing and faces possible jail time if convicted, prosecutors said Wednesday. (Photo:AP)

A FAN of tennis player Rafael Nadal, who breached US Open security to embrace the Spaniard courtside, faces jail time after he was charged with interfering with a sporting event.

Nadal was in the midst of changing shirts on Tuesday after he beat France’s Gael Monfils when the male fan leaped out of the stands onto the centre court in Arthur Ashe Stadium and put his arms around Nadal before kissing him on the cheek.

Noam Aorta, 23, of Queens, New York, who sprinted past courtside security to reach the 23-year-old Nadal, faces up to one year in jail and a $US5000 ($5800) fine for criminal trespassing.

District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement that authorities took such security breaches seriously after previous incidents including former world number one Monica Seles, who was stabbed in the back by a spectator in 1993 in Germany. The stabbing severely hampered her career.

“For me it wasn’t a problem,” Nadal, who appeared unruffled, said about the encounter

“The guy was really nice. He was a great fan, he said ‘I love you’ and he kiss me.”

-Reuters