Sport Tennis Football game breaks out mid-point in tennis match

Football game breaks out mid-point in tennis match

Benoit Paire kicked it all off after dropping his racquet. Photo: Twitter/TennisTV
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Two French tennis players have emulated their fellow countrymen and women by having an impromptu football match mid-point during a tennis match in Germany.

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.

Not content to let Tsonga’s return shot pass him unchallenged, world No.28 Paire volleyed the ball back over the net, sparking the football-inspired exchange.

With the Women’s World Cup in full swing in their homeland and the men’s team reigning world champions, both players seemed keen to show off their skills, volleying and using their chests to control the ball.

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.

The tennis match mirrored the foot volley exchange in that Tsonga, the world No.77, went on to beat his fellow countryman, 6-4 7-5.

His 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 10th Halle title.

The Swiss maestro, 37, has 18 grasscourt 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.