That's a Good Ball Boy! Shelter Pups Fetch Tennis Balls for Pros at the Brazil Open
Brazil's cutest ball boys are at it again. The 2017 Brazil Open may feature professional tennis players on the court, but the ball dogs - also present at last year's tournament - no doubt stole the show.
Ball dogs in tennis
According to a report from the ATP World Tour, Brazilian player Marcelo Demoliner and coach Joao Zwetsch played a few points on the clay court with six shelter dogs acting as the "ball dogs" to the delight of the crowd.
"It was pretty fun, super cool with the dogs, really nice experience," Demoliner said.
He revealed that more training may be necessary before the pups take on the professional stage adding, "I think they need to improve a little bit because if they put dogs in a real match... we will have a lot of let calls. But I think it was really nice to do this thing today."
Fun for a cause
The ATP World Tour 250 tournament in Sao Paulo partnered with tournament sponsor Premier Pet to stage this crowd-favorite activity once more. It's not just a fun show for the crowd in between matches, but the event also promotes and raises awareness for shelter animals who are still looking for good homes.
Last year, the ball dogs were a hit and all four participating shelter dogs eventually got adopted.
Tournament and shelter officials are hoping the same for this year's batch that includes Cindy, Nanda, Pretinha, Mia, Arlete and Ovelha. The six canines all came from two local non-profit dog shelters, Project Second Chance (Proyecto Segunda Chance) and Dogs Without Owners (Cão Sem Dono).
The pups, aged four to 10, are slated to fetch balls for the players during warmups throughout the semifinals and finals on March 4 to 5, a report from CNN revealed.