Miami is one of the hottest places on America’s west coast, and the tropical climate is very friendly to a number of reptiles in the area. Today, however, one of them found its way to the Tennis Center at Crandon Park – and made its way onto the court where German veteran Tommy Haas was playing Czech Jiri Vesely in the pair’s Round 1 match.
Fans began cheering the reptile, which quietly made its way behind the scoreboard to climb onto the standee, perhaps to get a better look at the on-court action. That prompted Haas to break the ‘no mobile phone’ rule, with the 38-year-old whipping out the phone to take a selfie with the creature perched behind.
As handlers on the sidelines attempted to catch the iguana, it escaped, clinging onto the scoreboard as both players – and the entire audience – stood watching, and began to cheer it on.
Multiple caretakers rushed with towels and rods to corral the iguana, which, by now terrified, attempted to make a run for it – and bolted straight across the court as ballkids were asked to open up the gates to allow it to exit.
Crowds began whooping and cheering as the iguana evaded its captors – and it seems the creature was determined to catch the tennis action no matter what. It eventually found a comfortable spot above the scoreboard, and remained there for some time.
Iguanas are not venomous, but can hurt humans in other ways – either by biting or whipping their tails, both of which can cause humans permanent damage.
The chair umpire presiding over the match called for play to be resumed but Vesely, perhaps frightened of the animal or fazed by its presence, was unable to continue. “I cannot concentrate,” he told the chair umpire, who reassured Vesely it “....is not a dangerous animal.”
The iguana was eventually carried off the court by officials, who wrapped it in a towel and released it outside the centre. But if you’re looking for a real superfan – here you have him.Published 23 Mar 2017, 10:05 IST