MADRID, Spain (AP) -The male models working as ball boys at the WTA Championships are drawing qualified praise from the women players.
U.S. Open champion Maria Sharapova, who personally selected several of the models for the season-ending tournament, said they're doing fine in their new role.
"They're not going to be perfect since they've never done anything like this in their career - but they did all right," Sharapova said after beating Kim Clijsters on Wednesday.
Tournament organizers hired male models after accusations of chauvinism. Female models have been used as ball girls at the Madrid Masters men's tournament since 2004.
Apart from the odd nervous moment, the ball boys are performing well under the guidance of the world's top eight players competing for the US$1 million (?2.34 million) winner's prize. "I'm very excited, but I'm married so I can look but not touch," Justine Henin-Hardenne said.