A tennis club’s idea to train dogs to retrieve tennis balls at Wimbledon did not go according to plan when the dogs failed to do the one thing they needed to: return the balls.
Wilton Tennis Club in London, along with insurance company ManyPets, tested replacing ball boys and girls with dogs, according to the Daily Star. They tested the dogs’ speed, agility, ability to jump over the net and, most importantly, retrieval.
Apparently, the dogs were fast to chase the balls, but not so eager to return them to the players.
“Our players did find themselves in a game of tug-of-war,” club coordinator Martin Schiller said.
We knew there would be questions about how we'd make #WimbledonBallDogs possible. So in preparation, we trialed some Ball Dogs at Wilton Tennis Club 🎾🐶— ManyPets - formerly known as Bought By Many 🐶 🐱 (@manypets_uk) June 28, 2022
Here's how Hugo, Huxley, Dennis and Daisy got on - and some of our initial trial results… pic.twitter.com/hFh3bo3fGR
Though the trial did not go exactly according to plan, ManyPets is still calling on Wimbledon to use their “ball dogs” at next year’s tournament, according to the London Post.
“As we approach this year’s tournament, we’re calling on Wimbledon to get our ‘Ball Dogs’ to centre court next year,” ManyPets CEO Oke Elazu said.
“Our four-legged friends have always been highly regarded for their dedication and skill when it comes to chasing after tennis balls. We hope that the nation will get behind our plea, and that Wimbledon grants our Ball Dog ambitions for 2023.”
So far, there has been no formal response from Wimbledon, per Sport Bible.