The Australian Open ballgirl hit by a Rafael Nadal forehand has become friends with the Spanish superstar after meeting up with him the day after the incident.
Nadal last night won the hearts of millions by his reaction as he raced to check on the ballgirl, Anita, who copped a sprayed forehand right to the head by the world No.1.
Today the Spaniard took his compassion a step further, inviting Anita for a chat and gifting her an experience money can’t buy.
Anita told to Wide World of Sports Nadal was her favourite player and said he wanted to check up on her again and gift her an autographed hat with a personal message cementing their friendship.
“I got to have an interview with Rafael Nadal,” Anita said.
“That was amazing, I can’t believe it. He’s my favourite tennis player, I never expected this at all.
“He asked me if I was okay, it was so nice to meet him and talk to him.
“He gave me this hat, it says ‘to my friend Anita, all the best’.”
The Nadal match was during Anita’s first night as a ballgirl on centre court in Melbourne.
She said the hit to the head didn’t hurt too much and she was stunned how far Nadal went to ensure she was okay.
Nadal comforts ball girl after being hit in the face
“No not much,” she said when asked if the ball hurt.
“I was touched by his kindness.
“Most tennis player, if you got hit, they would ask if you’re okay but they wouldn’t interact with you as much.”
Nadal advanced to the third round of the Australian Open after defeating Federico Delbonis in straight sets, 6-3 7-6 6-1.
The 33-year-old will now face fellow Spanish comrade Pablo Carreno Busta tomorrow.