World number 229, Elliot Benchetrit asked a ball-girl to peel off a banana’s skin for him during the qualifying rounds of Australia Open. The 21-year-old Frenchman was rightfully slammed by the chair umpire John Blom for asking the girl to do so.
Benchetrit was halfway through his match against Dmitry Popko on Saturday when the incident occurred. When the ball-girl offered him the fruit, he instructed her to peel the skin off and give it to him. The young girl was stunned by this incident and turned towards the umpire, who instructed the player to peel it on his own.
The player indicated that he was unable to peel off the banana because of the bandages on his fingers. Upon the umpire’s instruction to peel the banana himself, he grabbed it and tried to peel it with his teeth.
A rather disgruntled Benchetrit tried unsuccessfully to peel off the banana and finally had to keep it in his bag. After having a few words with the umpire, he went on to continue his match.
The footage of the incident was shared on Twitter by Alex Theodoridis, the founder of Tennisportalen, who wrote, “So this is the moment where Elliot Benchetrit asks the ball kid to peel his banana. I’m glad the umpire (John Blom) stepped in and told him off.”
Twitter users also criticised the player on his attitude. The player was also criticised by several media personalities. One user wrote, “Imagine being a ballboy and this tennis player treat you as if you're their on court personal assistant. The next time they want the ball throw it in their face to make a point that thats your job not giving them water and towel or Peeling their banana or throwing their trash.”
Another wrote, “Too right. She's not a servant. She's there to do a job. He looked shocked when he was told to do it himself. Whattttt, peel it myself?!”
“What a nasty piece of work, this player is beyond rude. Well done to the umpire for spotting this prima donna and abusive behavior! #australianopen”, wrote another user.
While some users were targeting him, another user argued that there is ‘no reason to crucify him’ as it was just an awkward exchange.
Speaking about bananas, earlier, in recent news, however, we have a work of art that can compete with any of the above. A banana duct-taped to a wall recently sold for $120,000.
Let us take a moment to recall the time Rahul Bose was shocked by the Rs. 442.50 price tag that his order of two bananas came with, to put things into perspective. Also, while we're on a Bollywood tangent (somewhat), let us take a brief moment to recall Ibu Hatela, the villain from Gunda.