Ball boy who went viral for slamming his face into a wall reunites with Nicolas Almagro 7 years later at Barcelona Open

Nicolas Almagro with the ball boy (L-inset); a snippet of the iconic incident (R-inset)
Nicolas Almagro with the ball boy (L-inset); a snippet of the iconic incident (R-inset)

The 2016 Barcelona Open was testament to an iconic moment when Nicolas Almagro faced Teymuraz Gabashvili in the first round.

Midway through the third set of the match, Almagro collected a couple of balls to serve before tossing away the extra ones. The ballboy gathered them and rushed back to his position. However, on his way back, the boy tripped on the clay surface, slamming himself on to the sideboards.

The youngster, however, quickly regained his footing like a true professional. Almagro, who apparently heard a banging noise from the slam, turned around to check what was happening but the ballboy had composed himself by then.

The footage went viral afterwards across social media platforms. Reminiscing on the "historic" moment, the Barcelona Open organizers arranged a meeting between Almagro and the ball boy seven years later.

During their meeting, the youngster harked back to the incident, stating that he was worried about having messed it up back then.

"It was really just a scratch on my knee and then just the thought "I have messed up so bad"," he said.

The organizers shared a video of the same through their Twitter handle.

Despite claiming the first set, Almagro lost the first-round tie to Gabashvili 1-6, 7-6, 6-2, ending his campaign in Barcelona.

Nicolas Almagro announced retirement from professional tennis in April 2019. He played his farewell match at the Murcia Open, where he lost 6-2, 6-2 to fellow Spaniard Mario Vilella Martinez in the first round. Almagro recorded 14 titles during his career which spanned 16 years.

Nicolas Almagro played at Barcelona Open for the last time in 2017

Nicolas Almagro in action at the 2013 Barcelona Open
Nicolas Almagro in action at the 2013 Barcelona Open

Nicolas Almagro played at the Barcelona Open for the last time in his career in 2017. The Spaniard beat Steven Diez 6-3, 6-4 in the opening round.

However, Almagro fell to eighth seed Alexander Zverev in the following match. The then World No. 21 beat Almagro in under two and a half hours. He trailed 1-3 before levelling the third set for a narrow 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-4 victory over the Spaniard.

Almagro's best run at the Barcelona Open came in 2013. The then 27-year-old cruised to the final after beating Ivan Dodig, Marcel Granollers, Juan Monoco and Philipp Kohlschreiber in the opening rounds.

However, he was denied the title as his compatriot Rafael Nadal crushed him 6-4, 6-3 in the summit clash.

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Edited by Shyam Kamal
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