Ball Girl for Nadal Now in the Spotlight: Her Life Takes a Surprising Turn

Written by Henrik Rothen

Dec.01 - 2023 11:10 AM CET

Photo: Youtube
Photo: Youtube
Her Life Takes a Surprising Turn.

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In 2014, during the ATP 500 tournament on the clay courts of Rio, Rafael Nadal, one of the best tennis players in history, was part of an amusing incident that gained significant internet popularity. A video from the tournament showed Nadal subtly glancing at Fernanda Maia Carelli, a beautiful Brazilian ball girl standing near him during his matches.

Fernanda, then 26 years old, was responsible for providing balls to the players and assisting them during breaks, such as bringing towels or drinks.

The video captured a moment where Nadal, sitting on the bench, tries to subtly look at Fernanda, who was also seen watching the famous tennis player.

The video quickly went viral, reaching millions of viewers. Fernanda Maia Carelli capitalized on her moment of fame in the best possible way. She became a presenter for the channel SBT Esporte Rio, a commentator for De Primeira Radio MixFM, and the official announcer at the stadium of her favorite team, Botafogo "Nilton Santos". She also married personal trainer Junior Carelli.

Currently, Fernanda has a significant following on Instagram, with 356,000 followers. In 2018, she gave birth to a daughter named Roberta. According to, interestingly, two years ago, she had another daughter and named her Rafaela, in honor of Rafael Nadal.

Nadal, the winner of 22 Grand Slam tournaments, enjoyed victory in the Rio tournament that year. In the final, he defeated Ukrainian player Oleksandr Dolgopolov with scores of 6:3, 7:6.

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