Australian Open

Tsonga shares heartfelt letter from ball girl

2017-01-23 12:22

Cape Town - Jo-Wilfried Tsonga made headlines around the world during last year's Australian Open when he halted a match to help a distressed ball girl.

According to the BBC website, during his second round match, France's Tsonga noticed a ball girl was fighting back tears after being struck by a ball.

The 31-year-old Frenchman was taking on 18-year-old Australian Omar Jasika when the ball girl, named Guiliana, was hit in the face by a serve.

Tsonga stopped play to check on the girl before looping his arm through hers and escorting her off the court.

A year later, Tsonga revealed that Guiliana sent him a heartfelt message of thanks.

"Dear Mr Jo-Wilfried Tsonga," the letter reads.

"I wanted to take the opportunity to say thank you for helping me out on court during your round 2 match. I'm not sure if you remember me but I was the ball girl you escorted off court.

"I would also like to take the opportunity to apologise for the times when you asked for the ball but I did not service it to you or acknowledge you.

"I had picked up a virus which I was unaware of and it caused me to become dizzy and lightheaded. This also affected my vision and hearing.

"I apologise for not being able to perform my duties as a ball kid to the high standards that are expected.

"Thank you so much for the kindness that you showed me. I really appreciate that you were able to see that I needed some help and were kind enough to escort me off court."

The letter finishes by wishing Tsonga "all the best" for his remaining games, before signing off: "Giuliana, AO Ballkid no. 180."

Tsonga made the letter public in a tweet on Sunday, thanking Guiliana for her kind words.

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