French tennis player Elliot Benchetrit scolded for ball-girl banana request

French tennis player Elliot Benchetrit was criticized by an Australian Open umpire on Jan. 18 for asking a ball girl to peel a banana for him.

French tennis player Elliot Benchetrit made an “unapeeling” offer to a ball-girl during a game break that resulted in a scolding.

Midway through his final Australian Open qualifying match against Dmitry Popko, the 21-year-old got a bit peckish and requested a banana.

In video footage provided by Storyful, he can also be seen asking one of the game’s ball girls to peel it for him.

When umpire John Blom stepped in, Benchetrit resolved to peeling it himself, biting the top off first.

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According to Twitter user and Tennisportalen founder Alex Theodoridis, who shared the footage originally, Blom tells Benchetrit to peel the banana himself.

A reportedly heated exchange then occurs between the two, with the umpire telling the player to “stop” multiple times.

A tweet posted to the account @elbenchetrit, which appears to be run by the athlete, reads: “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!”

The account has been responding to various comments about the situation.

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Theodoridis responded to Benchetrit’s tweet, saying: “I was there. It shows exactly what happened mate.”

The video has sparked widespread disdain towards the player, who is currently ranked in the world at no. 231, with one Twitter user referring to him as a “nasty piece of work” and a “privileged creep.”

Another social media user asked, “Who does he think he is?”

Tennis reporter Lucia Hoffman shared Theodoridis’ video on her own Twitter account, with the commentary: “You cannot be serious, Elliot Benchetrit…”

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The French athlete went on to beat Popko, landing him a spot in the first round of the tournament against Japan’s Yuichi Sugita.

meaghan.wray@globalnews.ca

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