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Australian Open Player Goes Viral After Stopping Match To Save An Insect That Landed On The Court

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The Australian Open, the first of the four major tennis championships to occur throughout the year, has been underway for about a month.

And like all sporting events in the internet age, it's been a meme-worthy few weeks.

Recently, 19-year-old Jannik Sinner of Italy captured the hearts of the internet when he stopped his match to lift an insect onto his racket and jog the little bugger to safety.

The live audience—a smaller one than usual due to the pandemic—was totally on board for Sinner's compassionate pause.

One fan even joked, "Put it in quarantine!"

Sinner's brief act of altruism was all the more impressive for the circumstance in which he did it.

At the time of the bug rescue, 32nd-ranked Sinner was tied up against his opponent, the 11th-ranked Dennis Shapovalov of Canada, in the first round of the Open. Each had won one set, and was chasing the two more needed to win the match.

Shapovalov would go on to win the match after a grueling 5-set bout. But according to Tennis.com, he was brimming with respect for his bug-saving opponent.

He said:

"Win or lose, this is one of the matches I'm going to remember for the rest of my life."
"Honestly, even if I lost today, it was just so much fun to be on the court. I felt like both of us were playing at such a great level, and it was fun to be a part of."

But of course, plenty of folks on the internet were far more excited about Sinner's decision to save the creature than the match itself.




Sinner may have headed home early after the first round loss. But there are three more major championships awaiting the young gun in this year alone.

Hopefully he can taste a bit more victory and keep saving the insect population while he's at it.