Austrian tennis star Dominic Thiem was involved in a heated debate with court officials during his second-round game at the US Open, after they offered to open and pour a can of Red Bull for him.
The world number three, who turned 27 on Thursday, booked a spot in the US Open third round, defeating India’s Sumit Nagal 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 at the Arthur Ashe Stadium.
However, his birthday mood was somewhat spoilt by the match officials, who wouldn’t allow him to drink from the can on the court due to sponsorship rules.
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The second-seeded player had asked for a can of energy drink to be brought to the court during a change of ends. However, his seemingly innocent request was initially turned down by the event’s organizers, who said he wasn’t permitted to show the label of a brand that wasn’t an official sponsor of the Grand Slam.
Thiem is PISSED off because he was not allowed to drink straight from the Red Bull-can. Oh dear… pic.twitter.com/7cTYXqD4k8
Instead, he was invited to accept the drink after it had been poured into a plain cup off the court and then brought to him.
Thiem was furious at the proposal, retorting that officials weren’t observing the anti-doping rules and he couldn’t drink it if he hadn’t watched it being poured.
“Give me a plain cup and I’ll somehow cover [the can] and pour it myself,” Thiem complained. “You guys are crazy about anti-doping and then you want to carry the Red Bull can [off the court] and fill a plain cup?!” the player fumed.
His request was finally met when an official brought out a can of Red Bull covered with a towel so the brand name wasn’t visible.
Thiem FINALLY got his Red Bull in a cup. However, the USTA-guy is doing everything in his power not to show the label. Lol. pic.twitter.com/PexGXxGJmM
Thiem then poured the drink himself, as required by the anti-doping rules, so to avoid any potential tampering.
In the next round, the Austrian will face off against the 2014 US Open champion, Marin Cilic of Croatia.