The latest in bizarre tennis stories has broken in Sarasota, where a snake – that’s right, A SNAKE – caused a delay during an ATP Challenger match, hissing and lashing out when a volunteer tried to remove it. That’s one brave volunteer …
So it got us thinking – what other animals have interrupted tennis matches over the years? It’s actually not an isolated occurrence, so this Friday, we bring you five of the funniest animal invasions of tennis courts.
1. A squirrel gets loose at the US Open
Jankovic, Krunic, Dellacqua and Shvedova – as well as the rest of the crowd , and the commentators – couldn’t stop laughing as a squirrel leapt onto an outer court of the US Open, interrupting this doubles match and evading the capture of bumbling court personnel.
2. Buzz off!
Again, the US Open is the site of this one. Poor Kimiko-Date Krumm was simply trying to serve to stay alive in the second set of her match against Venus Williams, before a persistent bee decided to harass her at the baseline.
3. Footloose, fancy-free feline in Doha
Roberta Vinci and Cagla Buyukakcay were poised at a crucial juncture of their first set battle in Doha earlier in 2016. That was until the tension was well and truly released when a cat scuttled out onto the court and undertook an inspection of the net …
4. Woof woof!
Dogs love chasing tennis balls. And the younger they are, the more energy they have. So when tennis balls were flying between the racquets of these players at an ATP Challenger event and there was a puppy courtside, you can imagine what happened next …
5. A beetle, and a brave ball-girl
Beetles are a common court invader at the Australian Open at night, attracted to the fllodlit Rod Laver Arena. Lleyton Hewitt’s opponent Cedrik-Marcel Stebe was unhappy when one crawled near him, and asked that a ball-girl remove it. Not the nicest task, as the video replay proved. But hats off nonetheless to this plucky employee, who gave the crowd plenty to chuckle about.
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