Squirrel causes stir at U.S. Open

German tennis star Sabine Lisicki was minding her own business Monday during the second set of her opening-round win over Vera Dushevina, when a fame-hungry, acorn-hungry or otherwise attention-seeking squirrel decided to interrupt the party:

Ridding a tennis court of a squirrel is serious business. They’re not especially responsive to verbal commands, they think everything is food — and you definitely don’t want to touch them because there’s always the risk of rabies.

But, it is reasonable to think there would be a more time-tested strategy of getting them out of the field of play. After all, it’s not the first time a squirrel has brought play to a halt at a sporting event — or even the U.S. Open.

Just last year, a pesky rodent caused a ruckus during a match between Julien Benneteau and Olivier Rochus:

And earlier this month, a so-called “iterant squirrel” tried to throw Tiger Woods off his game at the Bridgestone Invitational. (It didn’t work.)

During this year’s college baseball season, a squirrel “so ignorant as to the rules of baseball it ran the bases in the wrong direction” made news when checked in on a Wichita State-Kansas game:

And then there’s the most famous rogue squirrel of all — the “Rally Squirrel,” who darted across home plate during the fifth inning of Game 4 of the 2011 NLDS between the Cardinals and Phillies.

The Cardinals would go on to win the World Series that year and the squirrel got his own baseball card and was included in the design for St. Louis’ World Series rings.

One has to imagine that all of the copycat squirrels since then have just been trying to live up to his reputation.