Tennis ace Rafael Nadal was poised to serve during a Rafael Nadal Academy Exhibition Charity Match when something stopped him in his tracks. He looks up into the stands, shifting his weight between his feet, trying to gauge what is happening in the crowd …
Stop the match!
The cries of a distressed woman have caught his attention, and Raf quickly realises that something is quite amiss.
Rather than play on, he pauses the match, trying to make sense of what’s playing out. It’s no obnoxious heckler or excited fan causing the disturbance, as you might expect. Rather, it’s an extremely panicked mum wandering the stands.
As everyone watches and waits, she continues to call out, oblivious to the audience she’s gathered. She had somehow been separated from her little girl, amongst the huge crowd, and is calling her name across the court in a desperate attempt to find her.
Little girl lost
Any parent knows that in the time it takes for you to turn your head, your child can be distracted by something interesting and disappear from sight. Those seconds of having a ‘lost’ child can seem like hours and you will do anything to find your little one, as this woman perfectly illustrates.
It really helps if you’ve got bystanders on your side and helpers as you search. Luckily for this frantic mum, she did.
Other spectators join the hunt, calling the little girl’s name. The crowd murmurs worriedly in concern. The players – including tennis great John McEnroe – stand by patiently, hoping for the best and concerned officials console the mum as she anxiously describes her daughter, relaying her recent moves.
Everyone is paused, anxiously waiting for good news. And then it comes. The mothers’ cries are answered across the court – by her daughter. Yay!
The crowd claps in relief and sobbing mother and child are speedily united with a huge hug, much to the delight of the entire stadium.
Nice work, Raf! Game, set and match!