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Beyond the Baseline

Video: Ball kid takes one to the face at the Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia -- You'd be hard-pressed to find a better set of ball kids than the ones who work the grueling Australian Open. In legionaires hats and burnt orange long-sleeves, these kids have withstood searing heat and, even worse, persnickety tennis players and their confusing habits and relentless demands.

You have to be alert on these blue hard courts and if you're not, well, this could happen:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6SzspJ0GCk

Look at him take it like a champ, barely flinching. As I've said all week, they group them up tough down here in Australia.

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