A US Open doubles match had a point called dead Saturday after the chair umpire noticed a fifth participant had snuck onto the hard court.
A squirrel interrupted the second set of a match between the Belgian team of Greet Minnen and Yanina Wickmayer and the German-Russian team of Laura Siegemund and Vera Zvonareva, leaving the point as a let.
The Siegemund-Zvonareva team actually seemed on the verge of winning after a volley into a wide-open part of the court, but could only throw up their hands — literally, in Zvonareva’s case — as the squirrel ran across the court and eventually escaped around the stands.
Siegemund and Zvonareva, the No. 12 seed in the women’s doubles draw, went on to win the point, the game and the match 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-0. They will face the American pair of Robin Montgomery and Clervie Ngounoue in the third round.
Usually, that would be the extent of squirrel action in the sports world, but less than an hour later, a similar incident at Penn State’s Beaver Stadium.
The Nittany Lions’ game against West Virginia saw a squirrel make it onto the field during a break in play. It proved elusive:
Beaver Stadium is about 250 miles away from New York’s Billie Jean King Tennis Center, so it’s probably safe to say this was a different squirrel. However, we’re not ruling out this was a coordinated forest rodent operation.