Rafael Nadal speaks with a ballgirl after she is struck with a ball during the match against Argentina's Federico Delbonis. Reuters
Rafael Nadal melted hearts at the Australian Open on Thursday, rushing to console a ballgirl and kissing her on the cheek after one of his fearsome shots ricocheted off her.
The Spanish world number one was in the throes of wrapping up his second round clash on Rod Laver Arena against Argentine Federico Delbonis when the unfortunate girl found herself in his firing line.
The girl was standing near the chair umpire and seemed wonder-struck when the iconic Spaniard walked up to her to check and then planted a kiss on her cheek to cheer her up. Delbonis also walked up to the girl who was overawed by the reaction of the two.
Rafael Nadal gives the ballgirl his hand band after a ball hit her during his second round match. AP
Nadal went over to check how she was and gave her a quick peck on the cheek for good measure, leaving the youngster blushing.
Nadal speaks with the ballkid who was hit by the ball during the match. AFP
"For her it was not a good moment, I was so scared for her, the ball was quick and straight on her," Nadal said after the match, giving her his headband as a momento.
"She's a super brave girl. It has been one of the more scary moments of my career. I'm very happy she is good. She is brave. Well done."
Nadal's lovely gesture invited compliments from all over Twitter.
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