The ‘King of Clay’, Rafael Nadal proved once again why he is a ‘King’ in real life as well. During his match against Federico Delobonis at the Rod Laver Arena in the ongoing Australia Open on Thursday, the Spaniard had to go through a “scary” moment.
En route his 6-3, 7-6, 6-1 win against the Argentinean Delobonis, he was leading 4-1 in the third set of the match when he misjudged a shot and the ball ended up hitting a ball girl hard on her head. After this incident, Nadal winced and rushed towards the ball girl to check up on her. Nadal lifted her hat to check whether she was hurt or not, gave her a gentle kiss on the cheek and patted her back. This gesture of his drew cheers from the crowd.
Nadal’s lovely gesture invited compliments from all over Twitter.
Alex Corretja on Rafael Nadal and his behavior on court: „We are all amazed. How can he still be there, doing the same with the same energy, no complaining, never throwing a racket or shouting at anything. I think he is the only one in the world I have ever seen doing that.”— Christian Albrecht Barschel (@AlbiBarschel) January 23, 2020
The best video you will see today.❤❤❤— Marketing Maverick (@MarketingMvrick) January 23, 2020
Rafael Nadal apologises to the ball girl with a kiss after the ball accidentally hits her in the face.pic.twitter.com/qmmhZ2VknJ
This is definitely favourite moment of today's @AustralianOpen for everybody. This ball kid will never forget this moment. @RafaelNadal had accidentally hit on her whilst returning the serve, he checked on her & gave a kiss. Post match, he gave her his headband. #AusOpen pic.twitter.com/jgObg0lPJp— Hrishikesh Damodar (@HrishiDamodar) January 23, 2020
Rafael Nadal and Anita the ballkid meet again! The 13-year-old is absolutely fine after being struck by his stray forehand...and this once in a lifetime sit down is the perfect remedy. Full story tonight in @9NewsMelb pic.twitter.com/hVHu0J5oUy— Braden Ingram (@bradeningram) January 24, 2020
After the match, Rafael Nadal once again went to check on the ball girl and gave her his bandana as an apology.
After the match, Nadal tweeted, "She was very brave!"
In his post-match interview to ATP Tour, he said, ”For her, it was not a good moment. She’s super brave. The ball was straight on her head. She was a super brave girl. That was one of the scariest moments when the ball struck her on the head. I remember a moment at Wimbledon many years ago, so I’m glad she’s all OK.”
Talking directly to the girl, he said, “I’m very happy that you are good. You are very brave.”
The world No. 1 seeded Spaniard will now face his compatriot Pablo Carreno Busta in the third round of the Australian Open.
Earlier in the week, world number 229, Elliot Benchetrit asked a ball-girl to peel off a banana’s skin for him during the qualifying rounds of Australia Open. The 21-year-old Frenchman was rightfully slammed by the chair umpire John Blom for asking the girl to do so.