WATCH: Rafael Nadal Wins Hearts by kissing a Ball Girl at Australian Open 2020

Published 01/23/2020, 8:45 AM EST


In a heartwarming moment, World No.1 Rafael Nadal came up with a kind gesture to comfort a ball girl with a kiss after hitting her on the head during his second-round victory over Federico Delbonis at the Australian Open 2020.

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The defending runner-up clinched a business-like 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-1 victory over Federico Delbonis and booked a place in the third round in Melbourne.

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Rafael Nadal gifts his bandana to the ball kid

In the fifth game of the third set, Nadal caught a ball girl with an unintentional groundstroke on a long serve from Delbonis. However, the 19-time Grand Slam champion made up for his misplaced shot as he rushed over to check she is Okay and gave her a gentle kiss on the cheek.

There was a big round of cheer from the crowd at the Rod Laver Arena when she was back business the following point.

After completing the match, Nadal shook hands with Delbonis – before once again checking on the ball girl, giving his bandana to her with an apology.

“She’s super brave”: Nadal

“For her (the ball girl) it was not a good moment. She’s super brave. The ball was straight on her head,” Nadal said.

“I am not worried at all. Probably after 15 years, she doesn’t care much,” the Mallorcan said of her wife Xisca Perello.

“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,” he concluded.

The 33-year-old was also honoured with Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award in the 2019 ATP Awards. He received the award for a second straight year and third time overall for his fair play, professionalism and integrity on and off the court in the calendar year.

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“First time playing in the evening here, different conditions. Tough match, I lost a lot of opportunities on the breakpoints. But I found a way to win the second set and I played more relaxed in the third,” he said in the post-match on-court interview.

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The No.1 seed will next face his compatriot and No.27 seed Pablo Carreno Busta in the third round of Australian Open 2020.

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Varun Khanna

1313 articles

Starting off as a tennis author in 2018, Varun Khanna has gone on to contribute to EssentiallySports in various capacities. After setting up interviews with the likes of Serena Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou, Alizé Cornet, and Noah Rubin, Varun is now part of all major ATP and WTA press conferences and has gone on to pen more than 1300 articles for EssentiallySports. He now heads the tennis and NBA division of the organization.

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