Footage of Australian Open ball kids drying the court by hand leaves fans stunned

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Crazy footage of Australian Open ball kids drying the court by hand leaves fans stunned: ‘This is the height of modern technology?’

  • Rain delay saw play paused in quarter-final featuring Elena Rybakina
  • The 22nd seed beat Latvia’s Jeļena Ostapenko in straight sets
  • Tennis fans stunned to see ball kids hand-drying court 

Footage of ball kids at the Australian Open hand-drying the court has left scores of tennis fans stunned.

Rain during the first set when Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina took on Latvia’s Jeļena Ostapenko saw their quarter-final briefly delayed on Rod Laver Arena.

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As the roof was closing, the ball kids were out in force, frantically drying the  hardcourt surface. 

The scenes prompted those in commentary to suggest a better solution for future tournaments which ‘isn’t so labour intensive.’

Given the ball kids are volunteers, the social media reaction was severe.

The ball kids (pictured above) working in unison to clear the rain on court as the roof closed on Rod Laver Arena

The scenes prompted those in commentary to push for a modern day solution which 'isn't so labour intensive'

The scenes prompted those in commentary to push for a modern day solution which ‘isn’t so labour intensive’

The water was quickly removed, and play between Kazakhstan's Elena Rybakina and Latvia's Jeļena Ostapenko soon resumed

The water was quickly removed, and play between Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina and Latvia’s Jeļena Ostapenko soon resumed

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Fresh from beating no.1 seed Iga Świątek in the round of 16, Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakinba outclassed Ostapenko in straight sets to move through to the semi-finals

Fresh from beating no.1 seed Iga Świątek in the round of 16, Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakinba outclassed Ostapenko in straight sets to move through to the semi-finals

‘Unpaid labour,’ one tweeted, with another asking pointing out ‘the organisers of the Arthur Ashe Stadium (at the US Open) have mechanised machines to dry courts efficiently….they do not use slave labour.’

With the roof eventually closed due to the inclement weather at Melbourne Park, 22nd seed Rybakina continued her giant-killing run.

Fresh from beating no.1 seed Iga Świątek in the round of 16, the Wimbledon champion last year outclassed Ostapenko in straight sets.

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It was an ominous performance, and the 23-year-old is firming to win her second career Grand Slam.

Rybakina’s semi-final opponent on Australia Day is yet to be determined.

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