It's a beautiful day here in Gotham City, 58-degrees and sunny, the perfect time to take my dog to the park to have a game of fetch. Except I don't have a dog. And I'm stuck here on my couch bringing you, the fan of sports and very good mutts, the latest in the art of professional canine-tennis-ball-retrieval.
For the second year in a row, the Brazil Open used shelter pups as "Good Ball Boys," and "Good Ball Girls," giving six dogs the chance to show off their stuff on the Pinheiros Club's clay court. The four-legged show-stealers came from two local non-profit dog shelters, Project Second Chance (Proyecto Segunda Chance) and Dogs Without Owners (Cão Sem Dono), to remind everyone that pet adoption is the best way to find a new best friend. Here's the ATP World Tour roll call of the poochies galore (emphasis mine!):
"'Cindy, Nanda, Pretinha, Mia, Arlete and Ovelha dashed around the red clay as Brazilian Marcelo Demoliner and Brazilian coach Joao Zwetsch, played a few points and posed for photos with the shelter dogs.
It was pretty fun, super cool with the dogs, really nice experience,' Demoliner said...
Demoliner, though, thinks the ball dogs might need a little more practice before taking the court for some primetime ATP World Tour action in Sao Paulo. '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,' he said before laughing. 'But I think it was really nice to do this thing today.'"
It looked especially super fun for the little scamp who brought a deuce along with the fuzzy yellow at the :23 second mark. Advantage, DOGGIE!
Keep in mind, the ball dogs aren't just for show. In 2016, all four of the orange-bandana-clad former street urchins found a home.
And as if this wasn't already the coolest tennis tournament on the planet, Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas did his finest Michael Chang impression to win the damn thing. He broke out the underhanded (literally, not metaphorically) serve to take home the chip with a 6-7 (7-3) 6-4 6-4 victory over Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain.
Raise the Woof! The Brazil Open owns.