Rafael Nadal is once again melting his hearts in the tennis world after a photo of his amazing behind the scenes surfaced that he caught up with the ball girl accidentally hit by a loose ball on Thursday night.
The Spanish champion showed his reputation as an absolute class racing athlete to the core when he produced a touching moment during the third series of his second round won on Federico Delbonis.
A backhand from the Spaniard flew down the line and crashed into the head of a dancer standing next to the referee’s chair.
The crowd screamed as Nadal rushed to check on the young man’s well-being.
As he consoled the dancer, he kissed her on the cheek to the delight of the crowd.
Nadal ended his 6-3 7-6 6-1 victory moments later and immediately returned to the ballerina to make sure he was okay.
Nadal even planted a friendly kiss on the girl’s cheek, which received wild approval from the crowd inside Rod Laver Arena.
The 34-year-old showed that his class concern for the ball girl was much more than an economic gimmick when he sought her out in Melbourne Park on his day off Friday, before his third round game on Saturday.
Nadal posted a photo of him and the dancer on Instagram, whose name was later revealed to be 13-year-old Anita Birchall.
“Very happy to see that Anita is doing well,” Nadal wrote in an Instagram caption.
“I also had the chance to meet her, her brother Mark and her parents. Thank you.”
Channel 9’s cameras were there to see the moment when Nadal met the family and revealed that Nadal had even delivered a special gift to his new friend.
“I just need to have an interview with Rafael Nadal. It was fantastic, ”said Anita.
“No, I can’t believe it. He’s my favorite tennis player, so I never expected that.”
He said the concern shown by Nadal has been moving.
“He asked me if I was fine. And he talked about how it’s going, “he said.
“It was so nice to meet him and talk to him. And he gave me this hat that says, “To my friend Anita. I wish you the best.”
Channel 9’s Clint Stanaway then said, “You’re a friend.”
Anita replied: “Yes. It looks just like that
“I was touched by his kindness because most tennis players, if I were hit, would ask if you were okay, but they wouldn’t interact with you. I didn’t expect that to happen.
Nadal said after the bout that he was scared for her after seeing the loose ball hit her.
“Well for her, it probably wasn’t a good time. I was frightened for her, honestly. The ball was fast and aimed at her, so she is a super brave girl, “said Nadal.
“Honestly, it was one of the scariest moments I had on the tennis court. I am very happy that she is good. “
Spanish colleague Pablo Carreno Busta now waits for Nadal in the past 32 before a potential fourth-round bouncing match with local hope Nick Kyrgios.
The duo have long-headed heads and Kyrgios may have fueled the flames of their discontent by mimicking Nadal’s serve during his second round win over French journalist Gilles Simon.
“I really don’t care,” Nadal said nervously to a reporter when he was informed of Kyrgios’ impression.
“I’m here to play tennis. Honestly, I don’t care at all. If it were fun, fine. “
Even playing against an increasingly popular Kyrgios in his home field, it is impossible to think that anyone would have cheered Nadal for the rest of the tournament after his real class had been revealed in his gesture with Anita and his family.