Perhaps the only thing more mortifying than doing something embarrassing in front of hundreds of people is having said embarrassing incident caught on camera. For the world to see. Forever and ever.
That’s exactly what happened to a poor ball boy at the French Open when, thinking the point was over (or as part of an elaborate conspiracy, cough cough), he ran out onto the court while the point was still being played. Fifteen seed Viktor Troicki was battling dreamy Andy Murray in a two-day-long match when, during the fifth game of the sixth set, the boy made the blunder seen ‘round the Internet world. The point was thrown out, Troicki bent over in disbelief, and the boy – as you can see in the video – looks like he just wants to dig a hole through the clay and book it to China.
I know exactly how this kid feels.
Back in the days when denim shorts over neon Spandex was appropriate tennis apparel, I volunteered to be a ball girl at the Sony Ericsson (then called the Lipton) on Key Biscayne in Florida. I was so excited: Free clothes and shoes! Glimpses of Boris Becker! All the Lipton iced tea I could drink!
Being a newbie, there was no chance of being chosen to handle Andre Agassi’s balls (snicker), but I was just happy to be a part of the action. So after a short training session, I was ready for my first match: German Tomas Muster against some guy who probably helps Miami Beach cougars with their volleys now.
Early in the match, Muster turned toward me and signaled for a ball. I tossed it, aiming for it to bounce once on the court, but instead, it hit Muster smack in the foot and then slowly rolled away. He looked at his foot. Then at me, muttering something that most likely included the German word for “idiot.”
A few minutes later, I attempted to roll a ball down to the other end of the court, but instead it hit Muster’s bottle of water, spilling it all over anything that was around it. I was sure at this point he was going to demand my removal from the game and blacklist me from ever being able to do menial tasks for free at a tennis tournament ever again. He didn’t, of course, but I wanted to die nonetheless.
So I totally feel for the kid at the French Open, hoping that he just laughs this one off and doesn’t give up his dream of being head ball boy at the Wimbledon finals, or whatever. Or maybe he might want to stick to doing those earlier rounds with non-famous tennis players, you know, where there aren’t any cameras – at least if anything embarrassing happens, it won’t end up on YouTube.