Tennis Match In Australia Delayed When Deadly Snake Makes Surprise Appearance
A deadly Australia eastern brown snake -- which has enough venom to kill 20 adults with a single bite -- is photographed in the Sydney suburb of Terrey Hills on September 25, 2012., in the Sydney on October 3, 2012.
A deadly Australia (WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)

A tennis match in Australia got delayed this weekend as one of the most venomous snakes in the world made a surprise appearance on the court.

Tennis player Dominic Thiem, who won the U.S. Open in 2020, was facing off against Australian rival James McCabe in a qualifying round at the Brisbane International 0n Saturday when the serpent intruder showed up.

Officials suspended the match when spectators caught a glimpse of the uninvited guest, identified as an eastern brown snake, and called in a local expert to scoop it up, according to 9 News Australia.

Lucas Perrett, the snake catcher who answered the call, said officials put down a tarp and the snake slithered underneath in an apparent bid to get away from the crowd.

“He’s an eastern brown,” Perrett said of the little critter. “He is the second-most venomous snake in the world.”

The newscast showed images of Perrett walking court-side with the snake bagged at the end of a short stick. He received a round of applause once the reptile was squared away, and he took a video to show to his family.

“My wife is a massive tennis fan. We actually have tickets for next Saturday and Sunday and when I texted [to say] I’m going to pick up a snake from the Brisbane International, she went, ‘No way, get me an autograph,'” he said.

Thiem had just lost a set to McCabe when the snake disrupted the game, but he made a comeback and clinched victory after the match got back underway.

“I really love animals, especially exotic ones,” Thiem said, per the Brisbane International website. “But they said it was a really poisonous snake and it was close to the ballkids, so it was a really dangerous situation.

He added, “It’s something that has never happened to me and is something I’ll definitely never forget.”

As reported by CNN, the Australian Museum says the eastern brown snake — one of many dangerous animals in the land Down Under — “has the unfortunate distinction of causing more deaths from snake bite than any other species of snake in Australia” with a cocktail of toxins that can lead to “progressive paralysis and uncontrollable bleeding.”

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