TO quote the four-time Grand Slam Winner Kim Clijsters herself during the unexpected interruption to her game during the recent Wimbledon fortnight: “We’re breaking all the rules of the Club here!” Yes, they were, but nobody really minded.
Picture the scene.
You’re just about to serve during a professional tennis match held at the world’s greatest tennis venue when you start getting coaching from the stands. Not from your own team but from a heckler!
When Chris Quinn decided to give Clijsters advice on serving, he probably didn’t expect her to invite him onto the court to try and accept one of her serves. And Clijsters probably didn’t expect Quinn to accept her invite onto the court, but to don a tennis skirt and top so he met the court’s dress code.
Granted, the women’s invitation doubles tournament isn’t among the most serious of the fortnight, but what happened has never been seen before on the luscious green turf.
Clijsters, from Belgium, was getting ready to serve when Quinn shouted from the stands that Clijsters should serve a body shot, a serve that is aimed to hit the receiver in the body. “You said body?” Clijsters, half-laughing, said to Quinn, “Why don’t you go there?” She then indicated to where her opponent was standing across the court.
To the crowd’s delight and amusement, Quinn ran down the stands and hopped onto the court rather fleet of foot despite his, should we say, bulk.
Clijsters’ opponent gladly handed over her racquet and Clijsters grabbed some spare tennis attire from her bag for Quinn to slip on over his clothes, although as she screamed out herself, the skirt only just managed to get over his knees.
Quinn was probably expecting the body shot, but Clijsters served an easy shot that Quinn actually returned. Apparently, Quinn the heckler is a captain of a tennis club just outside of Dublin.
Later, Quinn and Clijsters exchanged messages on Twitter, showing that the entire event was done in good spirits.