French tennis star Jo-Wilfried Tsonga not only defeated Australia’s Omar Jasika in straight sets during the second round of the Australian Open, he also won over the crowd when he interrupted the match to help a ball girl in distress.
The ninth-seeded Frenchman noticed the ball girl during the third set of his match Wednesday, when he went to retrieve a ball on the court. The girl had apparently been hit in the face with one of the shots earlier, so, being a Good Samaritan, Tsonga, walked to check on her and waved over to the chair umpire to let him know what was wrong.
Then, taking the remaining balls from her hand, the tennis star supported the ball girl by looping her arm through his and escorted her off the court — proving that even being an international tennis star, has not made him lose his humility
“I saw she was in trouble,” Tsonga later said. “It was normal to help her out of the stadium. I hope she's OK.”
Unsurprisingly, the athlete’s kind gesture was praised on social media.
Ball girl gets a knock on the nose and Tsonga links arms with her and guides her off court to recover. Nice gesture #ausopen— Jake Davies (@jakedavi5) January 20, 2016
aww how cute is that footage of jo wilfried tsonga helping that ball girl, so sweet! What a great guy #AusOpen— Domonique (@_domchantal) January 20, 2016
“I didn't know it was going to be something like this,” Tsonga said of the public reaction. “It's just normal. She was really in trouble and the eyes were a bit [teary].”
The tournament organizers later stated the girl was fine and that she was just feeling a little under the weather. Since the replays never showed the injury, it is yet unclear if it was Tsonga or his opponent’s shot that struck the ball girl.