An Australian Open qualifier was rebuked by an umpire for asking a ball-girl to peel his banana during a match.
French player Elliot Benchetrit, the world No.231, was playing in the qualifying tournament when he requested a banana at a change of ends.
A ball-girl fetched him the piece of fruit, but that apparently wasn’t good enough. Benchetrit, 21, wanted his banana peeled.
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That’s when umpire John Blom “stepped in and told him off”, according to tennis journalist Alex Theodoridis.
Perhaps Benchetrit really did need help. After shooting Blom a filthy look and exchanging words with the umpire, the Frenchman bit the pointy end of the banana skin to begin the arduous task of peeling, rather than simply doing the deed with his hands.
Another tennis reporter, Lucia Hoffman, gave Benchetrit a whack over the incident.
Benchetrit had the last laugh, in one respect. He made the main draw of the Australian Open to earn a third Grand Slam appearance, after featuring in the French and US Opens last year.
Even first-round losers at Melbourne Park take home $90,000 in prize money. Benchetrit faces Japanese world No.91 Yuichi Sugita in round one.