This Iguana Caused An Eight-Minute Delay During A Tennis Match

Although technique and temperament are pretty important, tennis at the highest level is a gruelling test of stamina and endurance. In the men’s game, where an extra set is needed to clinch a tennis match it’s especially tough, with three sets needed to win and games often lasting upwards of two and a half hours. Sometimes, though, unexpected delays can extend a tennis match even further, and an iguana at the Miami Open caused a first round match to stop for about eight minutes.

It’s not uncommon for animals to gatecrash a massive sporting event; just look at the invasion of moths at the Euro 2016 Final, or the plucky squirrel that held up an MLB game between the Philadelphia Phillies and Colorado Rockies back in April of 2014. On this occasion, Tommy Haas and Jiri Vesely were battling it out in the first round of the Miami Open when an unexpected spectator climbed onto the scoreboard.

Christened Iggy, this iguana joined the many animals to steal the show at a sporting event, and caused this first round tie to be delayed by eight minutes as officials patiently waited for Iggy to scuttle away. There was even time for former world no.2 Tommy Haas to take a selfie with the rogue reptile, much to the ire of the umpire.

Eventually, a group of animal experts had to be called to the scene, but Iggy wasn’t ready to give up the spotlight just yet, and attempted a daring dart to the other side of the court, where he perched on another scoreboard before being removed from the court to a chorus of cheers.

With the excitement over and the bizarre gatecrasher removed from the court, Tommy Haas would have hoped to benefit from taking a selfie with Iggy the iguana, but the German eventually went down 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 7-5 to Jiri Vesely. The 23-year-old Czech star will attempt to make waves at the Miami Open, and his next test in an unlikely championship run is a game against the Spaniard Albert Ramos.

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