A Cat Intruding On The Court Stopped Venus Williams’s First-Round Loss Against Diana Shnaider

Venus Williams, the seven-time grand slam champion, lost to Diana Shnaider 6-3 6-3 in one hour and nineteen minutes on Tuesday at the Miami Open, with the match cut short by a cat that invaded the court.

During the second set, as Williams was preparing to serve, the cat appeared on the court, causing the audience to laugh out loud.

The umpire said, “There is a cat crossing the court,” which caused further chuckles.

This is the second animal incursion at a tennis tournament in as many weeks, after last Thursday’s Indian Wells quarterfinal between Carlos Alcaraz and Alex Zverev was disrupted by a swarm of bees.

Additionally, this is the second occasion this season that a feline intruder has taken center stage on a tennis court. The first time it happened was when Emma Raducanu was being chased by a ginger cat across the court before her match against Ons Jabeur at the Abu Dhabi Open.

Williams, the oldest player in the draw at 43 years old, was losing to a teenage opponent who was playing in her first-ever Miami Open match despite her record-breaking 22nd participation at the tournament.

The 19-year-old Shnaider made it to another final at the Fifth Third Charleston last week after winning her maiden WTA Tour victory at the Thailand Open at the start of February.

Although Williams had trouble staying consistent throughout the match, she did exhibit brief moments of her previous form in the first and second sets.

The three-time Miami Open champion, meanwhile, has recently struggled with injuries and has only participated in two matches after returning from a seven-month absence.

Williams dropped to world No. 457 after only managing to play four games in 2022 and ten in 2023.

According to the WTA, this was Williams’ 85th match in the Miami Open main event, tying her sister Serena for the tournament record.

In the second round, Shnaider will now take on Madison Keys, the 17th seed.

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