Elliot Benchetrit, from France, was playing a qualifying match for the tournament when the chair umpire informed him the ball girl "was not his slave" after he asked her to peel a banana for him during a break in play.
Elliot Benchetrit, 21, was competing against Kazakhstan's Dmitry Popko at the Australian Open on Saturday when he asked the girl, whose identity remains unknown, to peel the snack for him to eat. Upon witnessing this exchange, chair umpire John Blom scolded him and asked the French player to do it himself.
Benchetrit then appears to react with surprise after the girl looks back at the umpire, hands him the banana, and walks away.
Footage of Benchetrit's odd request led to a wave of criticism on social media and Today co-host Karl Stefanovic also chimed.
"The bananas are very hard to peel here because they don't have a stem".
"Asking a ball-person to do that is disgusting". I find it bad.
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"The umpire intervened and told me: "She's not your slave, you can not ask her that". Tennis legend Martina Navratilova retweeted the clip and wrote, "What's next- grapes?" along with the hashtag #entitlement. "John did the right thing, that's for sure".
Benchetrit went on to win his qualifying match and will face Japan's Yuichi Sugita, ranked 84th in the world, in round one of the Australian Open this afternoon.
While Blom intervened in that instance, Benchetrit revealed that he had already made the ball-girl peel a banana at the start of the match.
I could not believe that the referee said that and I think it's wonderful how this situation got out of control on social media without people knowing what really happened in court.
Benchetrit After seeing most of the comments, I had a simple explanation for the interaction.
"I have needs and it is not my fault that this dish is poorly prepared".