By Brian Tinsman

WASHINGTON — Ball boys and girls at professional matches are taught to have their heads on a swivel, always at the ready to scoop up an errant hit. Based on where they stand or crouch, it’s unusual that the ball is hit right at them.

On Friday, an errant serve by Venus Williams caught one such ball boy flat-footed. He became an instant Internet sensation, and it isn’t hard to see why–although it may be hard to watch.

Even tennis great Roger Federer joined in the fun, tweeting out the slow motion video:

Williams regularly serves faster than 120 MPH. Even if his hand did help absorb some of the blow, he does appear to be in distress when he leans back, and limping as he runs off the court.

For what it’s worth, Williams won in straight sets over Greek Maria Sakkari and will go on to face Carla Suarez Navarro in the round of 16.


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