Rafael Nadal had to make an unexpected apology Thursday after hitting a ball girl in the head during an Australian Open match.
The Spanish tennis star was competing in his second-round match against Argentine opponent Federico Delbonis when he mistakenly struck a ball girl named Annita after returning a serve with a forehand shot. The ball hit her on the side of the head and Nadal quickly grimaced when he realized what had happened.
Nadal later tweeted it was the "scariest moment" he's had on a tennis court.
Immediately after the incident, Nadal and Delbonis both walked over to check on Annita. Nadal lifted her hat, kissed her on the cheek and gave her a pat on the head to apologize, prompting cheers from the crowd.
“She is a super brave girl,” Nadal said in an interview.
After Nadal’s victory against Delbonis, he met with Annita, gave her his headband and posed for a picture-perfect selfie.
Nadal was told by an interviewer after the match to not worry about his wife, referring to the innocent kiss.
“Probably after 15 years, she doesn’t care much,” the tennis star replied, laughing.