Ball girl praises Nadal’s unexpected move
FANS had their hearts in their mouths on Thursday night when a Rafael Nadal forehand crashed into the head of a ballgirl near the umpire's chair.
Seconds later hearts began to melt as Nadal rushed to check on the wellbeing of the youngster and planted a kiss on her cheek.
The next day the world melted all over again when Nadal uploaded a photo to his Instagram account alongside the young ball girl, Anita, with the caption saying he had also met her family.
"Very happy to see that Anita is doing well," Nadal captioned the photo.
"I also had the chance to meet her, her brother Mark and parents. Thank you."
Fans couldn't get enough of the pair and their heartwarming interactions, and on Saturday morning ahead of play on day six, Anita was once again back in the limelight appearing on Channel 9's Today show.
Anita, 13, spoke about how, despite the ball hitting her in the eye, she wasn't too badly hurt.
"Um, well I wasn't too badly hurt. But I'm pretty good with pain. It was more the shock of what had happened. But I was quite fine afterwards. I'm not sore at all now," she said.
It was what came next with Nadal rushing to her side that really caught the youngster off guard, stating most players wouldn't have done what he did.
"I just thought he would ask me if I was OK," she said.
"It was really nice that he was concerned enough to ask me if I was OK and to check on me, because most players, I don't think they would do that.
"He stopped the whole match and came over to see if I was OK, which was really nice."
As if the moment immediately afterwards wasn't enough, Annita then got to meet up with her favourite player and spend some time with him.
"I was extremely excited to meet him," she said.
"He talked about what he did in his off time, his schedule is extremely busy. I don't know how he made time to talk with me, and I really appreciated that. It was just an amazing moment."
Of course any moment that goes as viral as this one did means you're going to have plenty of people reaching out and for Annita her phone hasn't stopped since she picked it up following the match.
"Well I've received a lot of messages," She said.
"Half of my friends were still asleep, my brother slept through the whole thing. So he had no idea what he woke up what had happened.
"I was constantly receiving messages. They were just like extremely surprised, and they were all asking if I was OK, asking me what had happened there.
Nadal gifted the youngster a hat which he signed: "To my friend Anita. All the best."
Asked what she plans on doing with the hat, the teen was quick to answer that it won't be leaving the house any time soon.
"I'll put it on display in my house," She said.
Nadal returns to Rod Laver Arena on Saturday when he takes on Spanish 27th seed Pablo Carreno Busta.