The totally original and not at all tiresome ‘marriage proposal’ shout from the crowd is a well-known staple of tennis humour. Anonymous member of the crowd shouts out ‘will you marry me?’, crowd laughs, tennis player smiles and then gets back to his or her unnecessarily loud grunting – you know how it goes.
It happened while Novak Djokovic was limbering up in preparation for the defence of his US Open title. Only this was slightly different from the norm. The high-pitched marriage proposal came from what looks to be a pre-pubescent boy. Always wanting to show himself to a be a fun, laid-back, chilled-out entertainer Nole decides to go along with it and invites the kid onto court.
Hi-larious. And a little bit weird. Mainly weird actually.
Interestingly, despite the howls of delight from the crowd, that serve was out by some distance. Still though, it was good enough for the boy to be immediately installed as British number 2. Only joking. This being America, the boy was given an exorcism and told homosexuality was a mortal sin invented by Osama bin Laden.
As on court chirps go, it’s going to take something special for anyone to ever beat Steffi Graf’s brilliant response in the middle of the Wimbledon semi-final of 1996.