Tennis star scones ballboy in frustrated outburst

Roberto Bautista Agut was lucky not to be defaulted after hitting a ballboy in the head at the Monte Carlo Masters.

Bautista Agut was battling David Goffin on Thursday when he hit a ball towards the net in frustration after dropping a game.

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Unbeknownst to the Spaniard, a ballboy had run out onto the court to collect another ball and ran straight into the firing line.

The ball bounced once before hitting the boy in the head, visibly shocking him.

Bautista Agut in action. Image: Getty

Bautista Agut received a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct, but Goffin questioned why he wasn't defaulted.

The chair umpire explained that it was unintentional and without malice, letting Bautista Agut off with a warning.

Goffin went on to advance to the quarters with a 6-4 7-5 victory.

The ballboy copped it in the head. Image: Tennis TV

Meanwhile, World No.1 Rafael Nadal cruised to a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Russian Karen Khachanov to set up a "difficult" quarter-final against Dominic Thiem, after the Austrian stunned Novak Djokovic.

Nadal needs to win an 11th Monte Carlo title to stay clear of Roger Federer at the top of the world rankings, and the 16-time Grand Slam champion made short work of Khachanov.

Khachanov held his own at times in the opening set, but Nadal moved through the gears and claimed his second comfortable victory of the week after his opening win over Aljaz Bedene.

"A good victory. Straight sets against a difficult opponent. That's the real thing," said Nadal.

Thiem should provide a sterner test in the last eight, after the fifth seed came from a set down to beat Djokovic.

with agencies