(CNN)Rafael Nadal called it one of the more scary moments he’s had on the tennis court.
The world No. 1 was en route to a straight-sets win against Argentina’s Federico Delbonis, leading 4-1 in the third set of their second-round match Thursday. But on a return of serve, a scorching forehand from Nadal hit a ball girl on the head.
😱(🎥@Eurosport_RU ) pic.twitter.com/IR5B2Z42fu
— doublefault28 (@doublefault28) January 23, 2020 There was an audible gasp from the crowd. Nadal grimaced.”For her, probably it was not a good moment,” the Spaniard said on court after the match. “I was so scared for her, honestly.”Read More
"She's a super brave girl." ❤@RafaelNadal talks through that special moment with the @AustralianOpen ballkid! #AusOpen pic.twitter.com/qTUrzXoUMm
— ATP Tour (@atptour) January 23, 2020 The girl gave him a thumbs up, but a still-concerned Nadal and Delbonis both went over to her to make sure that she was OK. Nadal lifted the girl’s hat, gave her a kiss on the cheek and patted her on the head, drawing cheers from the crowd.
Nadal checks to see if the ball kid is OK after she was struck by a ball.Nadal went on to win the match 6-3 7-6 (4) 6-1. He next will face fellow Spaniard and No. 27 seed Pablo Carreno Busta.READ: Elliot Benchetrit hits back at critics over ball girl banana drama at Australian OpenAfter the win, Nadal went up to the ball girl again and handed her his headband.
“She’s a super brave girl,” Nadal said.The Australian Open is the only major Nadal has won just once, back in 2009.