Wimbledon player's brilliant act after 'horrible' ball kid incident

·4-min read
British tennis star Jodie Burrage tended to the unwell ball boy before he was escorted off court at Wimbledon. Pic: AAP
British tennis star Jodie Burrage tended to the unwell ball boy before he was escorted off court at Wimbledon. Pic: AAP

British tennis star Jodie Burrage has been praised for her classy moment of concern after coming to the aid of a stricken ball kid at Wimbledon.

Local hope Burrage lost her opening singles match in straight sets after falling to Leisa Tsurenko 6-2 6-3 at the All England Club on Monday.

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However, the 23-year-old endeared herself to fans and one particular ball boy, after a scary moment midway through the match.

Burrage instantly stopped the match when she noticed that the ball boy standing on the side of the court start was about to pass out.

Without hesitation, she ran over the young man's aid with a bottle of Powerade and a gel pack, with the match stopped for about 10 minutes as the ball kid was attended to.

“I was just like, ‘This kid needs sugar’. He wasn’t liking the gel. They’re not the nicest things to have. I was like, ‘Yeah, (you) definitely need something else’", Burrage told reporters afterwards.

It turns out the something else he needed was a Percy Pig - a pink gummy lollie that's raspberry, strawberry, cherry and grape-flavoured, shaped like a pig and popular in Britain.

“Someone just shouted on the side, ‘Got some sweets here if you want’. They were Percy Pigs. Percy Pigs is one of my favourites, I would say. So (I’d) definitely recommend it if I ever happens again," Burrage added.

“He just said he was feeling really faint. He couldn’t actually really talk. It was quite distressing to see."

Viewers hailed the British tennis player's actions and the concern she showed for the unwell ball kid.

"Well done, Jodie for looking after him. It is horrible when you see that with the ball boys and girls," said Jo Durie, who was on commentary for the BBC at the time.

"I would have thought someone else [other than Burrage] would be helping! I know Jodie Burrage is doing her best there. Hopefully, someone will arrive soon.

"They will have to measure the net again after the rain delay and the ball boy incident.

"I hope he is okay, poor thing. He didn’t look great.”

Jodie Burrage bows out on eventful opening day

Unfortunately for Burrage, the good karma didn't extend to an opening round win, although she denies the incident was a distraction in any way.

“To be honest, it didn’t affect me too much. I actually came out, hit a great serve, probably the best serve I hit in that match after that. If anything, it did help me," she said.

“I just reacted how I think anyone would. Yeah, he was not in a good spot. I just tried to help him out as much as possible.

“I’ve fainted a few times. I actually had a panic attack once in juniors here, so I’ve been where he is. I kind of know a little bit how he was feeling. So, yeah, just tried to help as much as I could. Hopefully I did.”

In other women's matches, new World No.2 Ons Jabeur sealed a commanding 6-1 6-3 victory over Swedish qualifier Mirjam Bjorklund to be the first big gun through to the second round.

Pictured here, Ons Jabeur celebrating victory over Mirjam Bjorklund on day one of the 2022 Wimbledon Championships.
Ons Jabeur celebrates victory over Mirjam Bjorklund on day one of the 2022 Wimbledon Championships. Pic: Getty

Estonian third seed Anett Kontaveit and British 10th seed Emma Raducanu followed suit with straight-sets victories of their own.

Kontaveit beat American Bernarda Pera 7-5 6-1. Raducanu defeated Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck 6-4 6-4 in her first appearance in front of her adoring home fans since announcing her arrival with a run to the fourth round last year and then winning the US Open.

Another notable first-round winner was 15th-seeded 2018 champion Angelique Kerber, who faces Linette next after a 6-0 7-5 victory over Kristina Mladenovic.

Australian Open runner-up Danielle Collins was the day's biggest casualty, the US seventh seed crashing to a 5-7 6-4 6-4 defeat to Czech world No.66 Marie Bouzkova.

with agencies

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