Chair umpire switches jobs with player, joins Patrick McEnroe during Wimbledon doubles

Cassandra NegleyYahoo Sports Contributor
Spectators were delighted to see a chair umpire take over on the court for Henri Leconte, who was playing doubles with Patrick McEnroe. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)
Spectators were delighted to see a chair umpire take over on the court for Henri Leconte, who was playing doubles with Patrick McEnroe. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

Sometimes you simply need a break despite logistics making that difficult. Henri Leconte found the solution.

Leconte was in the middle of a gentlemen’s senior invitation doubles match at Wimbledon on Tuesday when he was ready for a break. Since one can’t simply call timeout in tennis, he decided to approach the umpire with his racket handle outstretched.

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The umpire accepted and took his spot with American Patrick McEnroe against Jacco Eltingh and Paul Haarhuis.

“This could be carnage” may be the most ESPN The Ocho comment we’ll ever hear at a Grand Slam. The second set was tied at deuce at 5-5 during the switch.

It, maybe surprisingly, wasn’t carnage at all. The umpire, who kept his jacket on, fared well on the court, sending some nice returns on his first sequence until a ball was lobbed behind him.

He fell backward off the court trying to return a shot — something we’ve seen a lot of this tournament — but ended his appearance on a high note with a second deuce.

This was all as Leconte took over the microphone, bringing laughs to the Wimbledon crowd in part tennis match, part comedy show.

“You are definitely my hero. You can do it, still one more point please,” Leconte said from the chair.

Leconte and McEnroe lost, 3-6, 5-7, but they won the day with levity. We wouldn’t be offended if this were an annual event.

(h/t Sports Illustrated)

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