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Tennis Player Involved in Odd Banana Controversy

Elliot Benchetrit asked a ball girl to peel one for him, and an umpire wouldn't allow it
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 20, 2020 1:54 PM CST

(Newser) – A French tennis player got reprimanded at the Australian Open Saturday after he asked a ball girl to peel a banana for him. Elliot Benchetrit made the request during a break in his last qualifying match against Dmitry Popko, per Business Insider. When the ball girl offered him the snack, he indicated he couldn't peel it due to the plasters on his fingers and asked her to do so, CNN reports. She turned questioningly to an umpire, John Blom, who told Benchetrit to peel it himself; the tennis player attempted to do so using his teeth.

In video posted to social media, Benchetrit and Blom exchange words, and though it's not clear what was said, at the end of the exchange Benchetrit appears to tell Blom to "stop" multiple times. He can be seen in the video ultimately putting the still-unpeeled banana into his bag; he ultimately returned to the court and won the match. A Twitter account listed as Benchetrit's replied to the tweeted video, "That video is really useless and it’s not even showing a little part of what happened ! Poor guys , social media take your stupidity to an other level!" He later added, "For one time that I ask something very gently to a ball kid to recover mdr !!" But the founder of the organization that uploaded the video, tennis writer Alex Theodoridis, told him, "I was there. It shows exactly what happened mate." (Read more Australian Open stories.)

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