World No. 1 Rafael Nadal's gesture towards the ball girl, who was hit in the head by an errant forehand from the Spaniard during his second round match on Thursday, won him many fans, including wheelchair tennis champion Dylan Alcott.
During his match against Argentina's Federico Delbonis on Thursday, Nadal hit a forehand wide which hit the ballgirl right on her head. The Spaniard immediately went to check on her to ensure she was alright. After the match, he also gifted her his headband.
Speaking on Nine after the incident, Alcott commented, "I'll tell you what wouldn't feel beautiful: getting a Rafael Nadal forehand in the face. I have been lucky enough to play against Rafa on the practice court.
I don't know how that incredible ballgirl just kept going and she was fine. Kudos to Rafa for going over there and making sure that she was OK. I hope she is OK today because she might be a little bit sore. But great display of sportsmanship by Rafa making sure that little girl was alright.
I would have teared up and left the court for sure. I would have been done." Alcott's co-panellist Tony Jones commented, "It's just a beautiful, beautiful moment." Nadal had said it was one of the scariest moments of his life.
"It probably was one of the scariest moments on the tennis court because the ball was straight to the head. I’m glad she’s okay, she’s very brave”. The Spaniard defeated Delbonis in straight sets to reach the third round of the Australian Open. He will meet countryman Pablo Carreño Busta for a place in the last 16.