Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Tennis star Rafael Nadal accidentally hit a ballgirl with one of his shots during his second round match at the 2020 Australian Open Friday in Melbourne.
"Well for her, it was probably not a good moment," Nadal said after the match. "I was scared for her. The ball went straight at her. She is a super brave girl."
Nadal apologized for the error by giving the girl a kiss. The sequence occurred during the third set of his straight sets victory against Argentine Federico Delbonis. Nadal led the set 4-1 at the time. Delbonis began the exchange with a serve to the world No. 1.
Nadal sprinted to his left and attempted a forehand return, but the shot sprayed out of bonds and went around the chair umpire. The ball struck then the ball girl, who couldn't see it coming.
The girl briefly held onto her face before Nadal ran over to check on her. The Spanish tennis star lifted her hat to assess the damage, but the girl smiled and said she wasn't hurt. Nadal then kissed her left cheek and gave her a headband.
Nadal won the game to go up 5-1 in the set, before claiming match point on a forehand winner.
"It was one of the more scary moments I've had on a tennis court, because the ball went straight at her head ... I'm very happy she is OK," Nadal said.
Nadal battles Pablo Carreno Busta in his third round match at the 2020 Australian Open.