Tennis officials set fire to court in order to dry it out

Barclays ATP World Tour Finals - Day Seven

Water-logging is a problem that plagues most outdoor sports, however, the officials at the ATP Challenger Tour thought they had come up with the perfect solution to remove water quickly from a tennis court.

In a bizarre move, tournament chiefs at the ATP Challenger Tour thought the best course of action would be to pour gasoline on the particularly wet areas of the court and set it alight in an effort to remove the water as quickly as possible.

The failed attempt was caught on video, showing the officials struggling to get the blaze going before eventually deciding to quit whilst they were ahead and continue the match.


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The ATP Challenger Tour semi-final match between Belgian Arthur De Greef and French player Maxime Janiver was stopped due to heavy rain, with the Frenchman leading the game 6-4 4-2 when the match was forced to stop.

When the rain eventually ceased, match officials believed that the most efficient solution to their problem would be to set the affected areas on fire.

The tournament supervisor Carl Baldwin explained the decision, saying: "We had a long rain break and the side of the court was still holding a lot of water in the surface.

"To solve this, you pour gas on it and set it alight .This isn't commonly done but I have seen it before."

Whilst you can't fault their ingenuity, don't expect this technique to be employed at Wimbledon next year when rain inevitably stops play. 

You can see their attempts to dry the court in the video below.

When play resumed, Janiver went on to win the match and progress to the ATP Challenger Tour final, where he beat Sefanos Tsitspas of Greece 6-4 6-0.

The match was the second all-teenager ATP Challenger final of the season, with the Frenchman taking home the prize money of €42,500.

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