Australian Open: Tennis player asks ball-girl to peel banana for him, gets scolded by umpire - WATCH
Australian Open 2020: The tennis player signalled the young ball kid to peel the banana for him, which did not go down well with the umpire John Blom.Updated: Jan 21, 2020 20:06 IST
21-year-old tennis player Elliot Benchetrit was left embarrassed after he was scolded by the chair-umpire on Day 2 of Australian Open. The incident took place at Court 11 when the Frenchman was in the middle of his match against Japan’s Yuichi Sugita. Benchetrit was sitting down taking a break as a ball-girl approached him with a banana.
The tennis player signalled the young ball kid to peel the banana for him, which did not go down well with the umpire John Blom.
So this is the moment where Elliot Benchetrit asks the ballkid to peel his banana. I’m glad the umpire (John Blom) stepped in and told him off. pic.twitter.com/TK1GET68pG— Alex Theodoridis (@AlexTheodorid1s) January 19, 2020
Blom started scolding the young world no 229 for his behaviour, and the ball girl handed the banana to the tennis player and left. In the viral video, Benchetrit can be seen briefly arguing with the umpire, before peeling the banana on his own and having it.
The twitterati was quick to slam Benchetrit for his actions:
Wow, such entitlement.— Sharon Chippington (@shari______) January 19, 2020
@elbenchetrit humbleness is a prerequisite for an elite athlete— Gordon D'Arcy (@Gordonwdarcy) January 19, 2020
Enough with ball kids fetching towels and this shit...gone beyond ball kids to personal servants...step in atp and WTA— John Meaney (@meandawg15) January 19, 2020
Benchetrit lost the encounter 6-2, 6-0, 6-3 against his Japanese opponent and crashed out of the tournament. Meanwhile, top seed Rafael Nadal turned on the style as he launched his bid for a record-equalling 20th Major title at the Australian Open on Tuesday, but falling star Maria Sharapova hit a career low.
After the end of day’s play, Benchetrit spoke to reporters and denied showing a lack fo respect to the ball girl. “I had put some powder on my hands to stop sweating,” he said. “The bananas are very hard to peel here because they don’t have a stem. I asked the ball kid nicely because she had already peeled one for me at the beginning of the match,” he explained.
“The umpire intervened and told me: ‘She’s not your slave, you cannot ask her that’. He said ‘Slave’,” he further added.
Nadal, one shy of Roger Federer’s Grand Slam mark, dropped only five games as he swatted aside Bolivia’s Hugo Dellien 6-2 6-3 6-0 in just over two hours at a sunny Rod Laver Arena. Sharapova, playing on a wildcard as she wrestles with a shoulder problem, lost 3-6 4-6 to Croatian 19th seed Donna Vekic, making her an opening-round loser at three straight Grand Slams for the first time.
The future looks uncertain for the former world number one, who won Wimbledon when she was just 17 but has not reached a Grand Slam final since she lifted the 2014 French Open trophy.