Can a tennis match turn into a football match? Yes! If tennis players Benoit Paire and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are in the court facing each other. An ATP tennis match turned into a game of impromptu soccer on Tuesday.
Benoit Paire lost his racquet while serving in the third game of the second set of second-round match at the Halle Open, so instead kicked the ball over to his opponent. Paire decided to keep the rally going with his feet, kicking the ball over the net. And rather than laugh at the gesture, Tsonga responded in kind, controlling the ball with his chest before kicking it back over the net to Paire. Tsonga went on to win the match 6-4 7-5.
Tennis TV (@TennisTV) June 18, 2019
Benoit Paire and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga delighted the crowd with the foot tennis exhibition at the Halle Tournament after Paire’s racquet slipped from his hand during a serve in the second set.
The brief game ended when Paire attempted an audacious scissor kick but slipped on the grass surface, to rapturous applause from the capacity crowd.
Paire, 30, had previously been warned for throwing his racquet in the first set, but there was no such warning following his footballing display.
Tsonga’s reward will be facing Roger Federer in the round of 16.
Federer, who beat Australia’s John Millman 7-6 (7-1), 6-3 in 1 hour 17 minutes, is looking for a record-extending tenth Halle title.
The Swiss maestro, 37, has 18 grass-court titles to his name, also a record.
The last time Tsonga played Federer on grass, the Frenchman came out on top in the five-set epic at Wimbledon in 2011.