You know your reputation has taken some hits when showing kindness to a ball girl that you (accidentally) injured is worthy of international praise. But that’s life for Nick Kyrgios.
After simulating a sex act on a water bottle at Queen’s Club last month, the Australian showed his softer side at Wimbledon on Tuesday after inadvertently striking a ball girl with a blistering serve during his first-round match against Denis Istomin.
The 23-year-old 15th seed, who is one of the fastest servers in the game, sent a 223km/h ace past the 31-year-old Uzbekistani veteran and straight into the girl’s arm.
Both players were visibly concerned at the sight of the unidentified girl fighting back tears, and Istomin placed his arm around her as officials were called in to assist.
Kyrgios apologised and helped escort the girl off court.
Asked about the incident after the match, the Canberran expressed his sympathy and admiration for the child.
"Yeah, it was tough," he said. “Originally when I heard the sound, I thought it hit the scoreboard. Then I realised it was her arm. It was tough – she started crying. She took it like a champ, though. I would have been crying, for sure.”