Nadal vs Ball Boy: An Epic Match
Rafael Nadal cruised through his third-round match at Roland Garros on Saturday, extending his FedEx ATP Head2Head series lead against Richard Gasquet to 16-0. And while the 10-time champion ousted one of France's home hopes, the top seed certainly made it up to the crowd on Court Philippe Chatrier.
During the post-match interview, Marion Bartoli told Nadal that one of the match’s ball boys had dreamt of playing just one rally with the Spaniard. Without hesitation, Nadal made that a reality, handing the young man a racquet and jumping back on the court to the delight of the fans.
“It was a good feeling. It’s so nice when you have a chance to play with kids that normally only watch you on TV,” Nadal said on Tennis Channel. “I have been on the other part of the situation, being a kid and playing with professional tennis players when I was 12 or 11 and having an amazing feeling. Probably for him, today was a great day, especially here on this amazing court.”
The ball boy held his own, too, maintaining rallies of 14 shots and 8 shots, before Nadal stepped over the net to embrace the youngster. Nadal will play German Maximilian Marterer in the Round of 16.