Tennis Player Elliot Benchetrit Defends Himself After Asking Ballgirl To Peel Banana
Twitter was sent into a frenzy when tennis player Elliot Benchetrit caused controversy after he was filmed asking a ball girl to peel a banana for him:
The 21-year-old Frenchman was playing against Dmitry Popko, who he ended up beating, but finished the match with many people taking no notice of the victory and instead focusing on what happened during a quick break in play.
Benchetrit - who is ranked 231st - has now taken the opportunity to defend himself, telling CNN: "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."
It was previously reported that when the ballgirl was asked to peel the banana, she turned to umpire John Blom who was sat to the side of the camera - and out of view - for guidance.
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Blom is said to have informed Benchetrit that the girl 'was not his slave', which has now been confirmed by the sportsman.
Without hearing Benchetrit's side, spectators were quick to fly into a rage on Twitter with one writing: "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?!"
Some people did jump to the tennis player's defence, with one commenting: "His hands were completely blistered and bandaged up. I would have peeled it for him as the polite thing to do."
Another said: "What is rude & nasty are ur words. The man's fingers were hurt and bandaged. Stop making a storm in a teacup, by reading too much into nothing. Not all have dirty minds."
As previously mentioned, Benchetrit ended up beating his component 4-6 6-2 6-3. He went on to play Japan's Yuichi Sugita in the first round of the competition on Tuesday but was defeated in straight sets 6-2 6-0 6-3.
Featured Image Credit: YouTube/Tennisportalen TV