'Ball dogs' return to mesmerize fans at Brazil Tennis Open
Sports Scene

As the saying goes, "every dog has its day." A bunch of canines had their day on the tennis courts at Sao Paulo's Ibirapuera Gymnasium when a group of dogs made their appearance as "ball dogs" at this year's Brazil Tennis Open. 

This is the fourth consecutive year the organizers have reposed faith in the four-legged creatures by replacing the usual ball boys and girls. They were introduced to the crowd of the annual tennis tournament with a loud cheer as the event was organized on Saturday to encourage animal adoption in Brazil.

Five dogs entered the court before the semi-finals of the tournament with players Marco Trungelliti of Argentina and Roman Jebavy of the Czech Republic playing along. Each of them showed great agility, composure, timing and perfection with their running and picking of the tennis balls during the play. 

Lauding the initiative, Trungelliti said, "It was very beautiful. I like dogs a lot and all this sort of things. It is fantastic to be able to participate in something like that. This is a very special moment." 

The five dogs – Pipoca, Teka, Thor, Kiara and Bob – are in a shelter managed by the NGO "Patinhas Unidas" and are waiting for adoption. 

Marcia Leone, the president of "Patinhas Unidas", mentioned, "we are still very far from reaching our goal, which is to reduce the number of animals on the streets, so all of them can have a home. And as we all say our dream is that Brazil dogs will no longer need a shelter."