A French tennis player, Elliot Benchetrit, ranked no. 229 in the world was told off by the chair umpire during his qualifying match at the Australian Open for asking a ball girl to peel the fruit he wanted to eat. Benchetrit handed the banana to the ball girl before umpire John Blom stepped in.
The player had his right hand heavily taped up and then had to use his teeth to peel the banana himself. The Frenchman won his match to come through the qualifying into the main draw and will face Japan's Yuichi Sugita, ranked No.
84 in the world in the first round. On Tuesday, the Frenchman gave his side of the incident after losing in the first round of the main draw, saying he was surprised by how the incident had gotten out of control. "At 6-5 in the final set, during the changeover, I asked the ball girl to peel the banana for me as I had put some cream on my hands in order not to sweat.
She had done it once before at the beginning of the match. But the second time the chair umpire stepped in and told me that the ball girl was not my slave and I had to peel the banana myself. I could not believe that the umpire said that and I find incredible how this situation got out of control on social media without people knowing what really happened on court."
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