‘Bee Invasion’ Halts Pro Tennis Match In Southern California

The Tennis Channel
The Tennis Channel

A massive swarm of bees delayed for nearly two hours Thursday’s BNP Paribas Open tennis quarterfinal between Carlos Alcaraz and Alexander Zverev in southern California.

At one-all in the first set, Alcaraz’s service game was interrupted by the insects, causing the chair umpire to suspend play due to a “bee invasion.” The Spanish world No. 2 and defending champion hustled off court with his racquet and a towel for self-defense.

Bees could be seen congregating on the stadium’s Spidercam. Nearly an hour later, beekeeper Lance Davis arrived on scene and used a vacuum to tend to the camera, which was then moved to the upper deck of the stadium, according to the Palm Springs Desert Sun. Davis was honored with a playing of Foo Fighters’ “There Goes My Hero” over the loudspeaker.

The match resumed at around 5 p.m. local time, and Alcaraz won handily, 6-3 6-1. The fourth men’s singles quarterfinal of the day is scheduled to follow on the same court.

Only a few months have passed since bees last caused a delay in a pro sporting event. During a Colorado Rockies–Baltimore Orioles game in August, a swarm of honey bees in left field paused the proceedings for about five minutes.

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