It's pretty common for players to walk onto the court alongside local children, but the Silicon Valley Classic, in San Jose, took the tradition to the next level on Thursday, by having the players make their way to the court while holding puppies.
The dogs, who were up for adoption at Humane Society Silicon Valley, were a massive hit with the players, even ones who couldn't be there.
"If I could replace you with a puppy right now, I would be willing to do it." Kristie Ahn told her coach after winning the first set, 6-3, over No. 3 seed Elise Mertens.
Ahn, ranked No. 178, and an entry via qualifying, went on to win the match, 6-3, 6-3, recording a Top 20 win, her biggest of the year.
In Friday's quarterfinal, the Stanford graduate lost to Donna Vekic, who actually has one of the puppies named after her.
????@DonnaVekic holding puppy Donna Vekic. Our pawtners at @hssv named this chi-mix after the tennis star when she visited earlier this week. @wta | @Mubadala | #mubadalasvc pic.twitter.com/Fkyj0lxpDm— Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic (@MubadalaSVC) August 1, 2019
Vekic also visited the humane society on Sunday on behalf of WTA Charities. She would fall in the semifinals to Aryna Sabalenka, who lost to first-time WTA champion Zheng Saisai in the final.
Not to be outdone, the Citi Open let their champion Jessica Pegula pose on court with her dog Maddie after clinching her first WTA title.
Pegula beat Camila Giorgi in the final, boosting her ranking to No. 55.