AN Irish tennis fan has become an unlikely internet sensation after squeezing into Kim Clijsters skirt to face a serve at Wimbledon.
Wicklow native Chris Quinn was invited onto the court by four-time Grand Slam winner Clijsters during an unremarkable doubles match that has now wrote its own place in SW19 history.
Clijsters asked her doubles partner Rennae Stubbs how she should serve, with Quinn then shouting from the crowd: “Body serve!”
“You said ‘body’?” replied a disgruntled Clijsters. “Why don’t you go there?!”
Conchita Martínez, who was playing against Clijsters, then went to the crowd to hand Quinn her racket.
Mr Quinn, 46, took up the challenge and made his way to the court as the crowd cheered.
Unluckily for him, blue shorts and a green shirt aren’t exactly Wimbledon attire – so Clijsters ran to her bag to fetch him a new outfit.
“This isn’t going to work. Kim, this isn’t going to work!” said BBC commentator Tim Henman. “They’re not going to get over the knees!”
But the game Irishman defied the odds to somehow fit into Clijsters gear, as she collapsed to the ground with laughter.
“Oh my goodness. I really hope we don’t have a camera shot from behind,” added Henman.
Well its not everyday I get to share Wimbledon headlines with roger federer. I’ll take it!!
— chris (@chrisquinnirl) July 15, 2017
Chris, who is captain of Greystones Lawn Tennis Club, proceeded to return three of Clijster’s serves – much to the amusement of the crowd.
His antics quickly made him an online sensation with over 2.5million people taking to YouTube to watch the craic.
Now Mr Quinns, who swapped American Football for tennis seven years ago, is to raffle the skirt for The Gavin Glynn Foundation – which helps children from Ireland with cancer who need to travel overseas for treatment.
“I have the skirt, or the skort as they call it, and we are going to auction it for charity,” he said.
“I wouldn’t normally be the extrovert like this. I’ll roll with it for as long as I can.”
The Irishman was visiting Wimbledon for the first time and was expecting to be tackled by security before he could get near the court.
“My first notion when I put my first footsteps on the court was that I was expecting to be mugged by the security,” he said.
“She (Kim) started to put the skirt on me and I said ‘You’re going to struggle’ and I just said ‘Give them to me,’ there’s no point trying to be pretty about it.
“It’s not often you’d get Kim Clijsters and Conchita Martinez on the floor of the court at Wimbledon in stitches laughing.”
He added: “I was having a day off and I was going to watch a game so I was in my comfy clothes, but I can move quick enough round the court. I got to speak to Kim after and I thanked her for going easy on the serve.”