Rafael Nadal rounds win with kiss for ball-hit girl

The Australian Open top seed Rafael Nadal marched into the third round with a 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-1 victory against left-handed Argentine Federico Delbonis.

Australian Open, Rafael Nadal, Girl hit by ball, Nadal kisses girl
Rafael Nadal comforts the ball girl with a kiss, who was hit by his forehand shot in the second round match of the Australian Open. Photo: Twitter

It was a hard one on the head for a hapless ball girl, but a sweet and memorable one at that.

During the Australian Open match on Thursday (January 23), a terrific forehand by top seed Rafael Nadal hit a ball girl on the court.

The gentleman Spaniard walked up to her, kissed her and apologized, much to the delight of the crowd.

Advertisement

After marching into the third round with a 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-1 victory against left-handed Argentine Federico Delbonis, he gifted his headband to the ‘hurt’ ball girl before saluting the viewers.

The 19-time Grand Slam champion’s forehand came in the third set of the second-round match.

Albeit the struggle in the second set due to a high-octane game by Delbonis, Nadal seemed unflappable and calm as he walked up to the girl and showed he had a heart of gold.

On being asked what was running in his head at the moment, Rafa said, “I was so scared for her because the ball was quick and straight on the head. But, she is a very brave girl. This had been one of the scariest moments on the tennis courts though.”

“ …She got a kiss from me, but she wouldn’t care about this after 15 years,” he giggled.

After the match he also shared this anecdote with his fans on his twitter handle, with a caption “She was a brave girl.”

It felt Rafael Nadal was locked in to what Sachin Tendulkar said: “To be a legendary athlete, one it should be a good human being first.”

Get breaking news and latest updates from India
and around the world on thefederal.com
FOLLOW US: