October 23, 2021

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Melbourne Rewind: A Hitchcockian moment in 1573 Arena

Brengle

The invasion of the gulls in Melbourne was one of the more surreal moments you'll see on court.

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It wasn’t as though Bianca Andreescu didn’t have enough to deal with.

Back in action for the first time in 15 months, having been “Hsiehed” by Hsieh Su-Wei in the second round of the Australian Open, she decided to play the second-week WTA event on site.

And in her first match in the Phillip Island Trophy tournament, she ended up facing the American version of Hsieh – Madison Brengle.

Complete with the mismatched kit with various logos, the softballing retriever has had her moments of creating havoc with higher-ranked opponents during her career..

And of course, there were the unwelcome guests on court.

Seagulls. And their prey: moths and really disgusting bugs.

Used to having thousands of people on site leaving their extra French fries and food behind, the gulls were relentless as they dive-bombed the court looking for snacks.

Ball kids on bug patrol

There were a couple of the ball boys who were ALL over the pest control on court.

They would chase after them, and smile triumphantly when they pinched one.

But when they pinched one, a dozen of its cousins would land in protest.

The seagull poop was all over. The birds would land on the court in the middle of points and leave their regards.

The officials would have to run over and wipe it up. As Andreescu said on court, the concern was to slip on it.

Also, it was gross.

In the end, Andreescu was able to prevail against Brengle.

At one point, the American turned around and said to her coach, “I’m going to need therapy after this.”

(Editors’ note: A lot of stories went unwritten here on Open Court during the Australian Open. It was a matter of priorities: first TV work, then radio and if there was time left over, posting here.

With the expenses involved in travelling, we had to prioritize the revenue streams. Open Court is earning increasingly good revenue from Google ads. But it can always improve. Clicking on a couple of ads whenever you read a post will help increase that – and thus move it up on the priority chain in future events. Thank you for reading!)