Animal kingdom and a power outage have disrupted tennis in 2024

The season is ending its third month but already riddled with weird situations

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The 2024 tennis season is barely three months old, but it has already seen its share of strange events that disrupted play. Dominic Thiem's qualifying match at the Brisbane International in Australia was interrupted by a poisonous eastern brown snake that slithered onto the court and was dangerously close to the ballkids. A snake catcher had to be called to remove it. Perhaps that should have been considered the omen of what was to come.

The Indian Wells bee swarm was next to invade tennis. Carlos Alcaraz was stung on the forehead while swarmed by bees. The match was postponed until the beekeeper who earned an extra five minutes of fame entered the scene to rescue and relocate the live bees with interesting equipment. Less intrusive (and much cuter) but equally baffling was the cat who ran onto the court during Venus Wiliams's match at the Miami Open.

Tennis is an outdoor sport played worldwide so maybe an occasional animal invasion should be expected. Another incident at the Miami Open was not a disruption caused by an animal; it was a technological problem that halted Victoria Azarenka's quarterfinal match against Yulia Putintseva for nearly an hour.

A daytime power outage halted play at the Miami Open

A daytime power outage would not be perceived to be a major problem except that the Miami Open, like many tennis tournaments, is going full-tilt into the technology age with electronic line calls. Without power, there was no way of making those calls.

It appears no one ever considered a backup plan for a power outage because there were no lines people on-call to fill in if an issue like this occurred. The result was a match that was stopped for a ridiculous reason.

So much has already happened that it is fair to wonder what other out-of-the-norm occurrences could disrupt tennis for the rest of the year.

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