There were bee-zarre scenes on day one of the WTA 1000 event in Guadalajara as a match was postponed when a swarm of bees attached themselves to the umpire’s chair. Petra Kvitova and Bernarda Pera took to the court around 90 minutes late after a beekeeper was sent to remove them.
Fans were left confused when the evening session in Guadalajara was postponed, with no signs of the players on the main court. It quickly became apparent that it was a swarm of bees behind the delay in play, as photos emerged of what looked like hundreds clinging to the umpire’s chair on the main showcourt.
There was a gap of less than two hours between the end of the day session and when the night session was expected to start, with the swarm of bees managing to take over part of the umpire’s chair within that time. The Guadalajara Open itself tweeted: “Bee-right back,” with a photo showing the huge size of the swarm.
Former pro Melanie South was on-site and tweeted: “Bees have taken over the umpires chair here in Guadalajara got to be a first for reasons your match is delayed #kvitova vs #pera.” She later shared a photo of a beekeeper being sent to remove them from the chair, writing: “Save the bees.”
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The Guadalajara Open is in its first year operating as a tournament, being granted the highest status possible on the WTA Tour as a 1000-point event. The Mexican city was used as the site of the season-ending WTA Finals last year and made such an impression on the players that it was selected to host a top-tier event from 2022 onwards.
The last regular tournament on the WTA calendar this season is more exciting than ever with five spots at the WTA Finals still up for grabs depending on players’ results this week. Iga Swiatek, Ons Jabeur and Jessica Pegula are the only players to qualify so far, with Coco Gauff just one match-win away from booking her spot in the prestigious top-eight tournament.