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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

WATCH: Rafael Nadal hits ball girl in Australian Open, apologises with kiss

When Rafael Nadal was already en route to a second-round victory by straight sets against Federico Delbonis, leading 4-1 in the third set, one of his scorching forehands hit a ball girl on the head.

By: Sports Desk | Updated: January 24, 2020 11:44:25 am
Rafael Nadal checks on the ball girl after she is struck with his shot. (Source: Reuters)

On his way to the third round of Australian Open past Argentina’s Federico Delbonis, Rafael Nadal found himself on quite a fix as one of his scorching forehands hit a ball girl on the head on Thursday.

The top seed muscled his way into the next round with a commanding 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-1 victory, but had a moment of panic when an innocent bystander got hit by one of return serves. When he was already en route to a win by straight sets, leading 4-1 in the third set, his forehand hit a ball girl to the left of him.

After the audible gasp from the crowd died down, Nadal raced over to her to check on her and the girl gave him a thumbs up. Assured that she was unhurt, Nadal lifted the girl’s hat, gave her a kiss on the cheek and patted her on the head, drawing cheers from the crowd.

Talking about it post-match, the 33-year-old said, “For her probably was not a good moment. I was so scared for her, honestly.”

“The ball was quick and straight on the head. She’s a super brave girl. It [has] been one of the more scary moments I’ve had on the tennis court.”

Nadal took to Twitter on Friday, and posted a selfie with the young ball girl. “Had the chance to meet her and her family today. So happy she is well after the scariest moment I’ve had on a tennis court. Annita is a brave girl!” he captioned it.

The 19-time Grand Slam champion went to the girl after the match and gifted her with the headband he wore on her way to his second Australian Open title. He next will face fellow Spaniard and No. 27 seed Pablo Carreno Busta.

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