A cat with a tennis ball, similar to the cat who interrupted the tennis match between Venus Williams and Diana Schanider.
(Photo Credit: Voren1 | Getty Images)

Cat Interrupts Venus Williams & Diana Shnaider Tennis Match at Miami Open

At the Miami Open, an uninvited guest on the court interrupted Venus Williams and Diana Shnaider’s match. As Venus Williams, 43, geared up to serve her second set against Shnaider, a cat made a surprise appearance. She darted across the back wall behind the players, capturing the attention of both athletes and spectators. 

Cat crosses the court during Venus Williams and Diana Shnaider’s match

During their Miami Open tennis match on Tuesday, March 19, Venus Williams and Diana Shnaider received an unexpected visitor on the court, as CNN reports. As Williams readied herself to serve the second set, a cat made a sudden appearance, dashing along the back wall behind the tennis star. Despite the amusing interruption, Shnaider secured a 6-3 6-3 victory over Williams in the match.

In fact, the umpire even announced over the microphone, “There is a cat crossing the court.” As a result, the crowd erupted into laughter as the black-and-white feline swiftly disappeared from view, allowing the women to continue their game. 

Additionally, one of the commentators said during the broadcast, “There’s the cat. It’s a cute cat, too.” Continuing, they added, “I have not seen that before.”

This marks the second instance of an animal intrusion at a tennis tournament within a week, as per People. Last week, a swarm of bees disrupted the quarterfinal match between Carlos Alcaraz and Alex Zverev at Indian Wells.

Consequently, the match was paused. The incident occurred in the first set, with the score tied at 1-1 between the two players. Just like Williams, Alcaraz was preparing to serve when the bees interrupted.

As the umpire declared that the match “could not continue,” the announcer questioned, “What’s happening here?” Everyone had to walk off the court after that.

Eventually, the ATP Tour released a video depicting the umpire suspending the match due to a “bee invasion.” Alcaraz’s manager, Albert Molina, revealed on a podcast that the player remained in good condition despite being stung on the side of his forehead during the incident.

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