Sport Open player told-off for weird ball-girl demand

02:10  20 january  2020
02:10  20 january  2020 Source:   wwos.nine.com.au

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One player , though, is taking no such precautions. Clad in a loudly-coloured jacket and Panama hat, John Hesp, a 64-year-old caravan seller and grandfather from Bridlington, seems more interested in chatting to his neighbours and flashing smiles at the dealer.

Elliot Benchetrit (R) asked this ball-girl to peel his banana. © Twitter Elliot Benchetrit (R) asked this ball-girl to peel his banana.

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.

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.

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When you play for so long and everyone on your team participates in the lingo, you get used to it and make sense of it. But as an adult, looking back on the things we used to scream through the wire hole of the dugout, were nonsensical. It was like our own secret language among the players .

The former MP looks like he's preparing to enter a scrum rather than the ballroom as his partner resorts to putting lip balm on his shoes.

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.

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