(VIDEO) Liudmila Samsonova "swamped" with tennis balls from fans at Zhengzhou Open

Liudmila Samsonova was "swamped" with giant tennis balls from fans in the crowd after her match at the Zhengzhou Open.

The World No. 16 defeated Tatjana Maria 6-3, 6-3 in her opening match at the WTA 250 tournament but was ousted in the Round of 16 by Laura Siegemund. The eleventh seed won the first set, but her opponent ultimately won the match 3-6, 6-2, 6-1.

Prior to this, Samsonova made it to the final of last week's WTA 1000 China Open, defeating Jelena Ostapenko and Elena Rybakina on her way to a clash with second seed Iga Swiatek. The Russian ultimately finished as runner-up after Swiatek won the match 6-2, 6-2.

Fans display devotion to Samsonova 

A video has since emerged on social media of fans throwing a multitude of giant tennis balls at the 24-year-old in the hopes that she will sign them. Samsonova can be seen beckoning to some members of the crowd, presumably telling them to throw the balls down for her to sign.

However, she was clearly not expecting the amount that flew at her, as she stood in amazement for a moment and gestured in surprise. Fans on social media have reacted to the situation with amusement.

"Liudmila Samsonova was swamped with tennis balls that fans wanted her to sign. They threw them down to the court. Do they expect her to sign all of these & carry them back individually?" wrote The Tennis Letter.

"looks like she gestured for one of them to throw it down, then they all did lol," added another fan.

Samsonova has had a mixed season overall, reaching the final of the WTA 1000 Canadian Open in August, where she finished as runner-up to Jessica Pegula. She also made the final of the WTA 500 Abu Dhabi Open in February, where she lost to Belinda Bencic.

However, she failed to make it past the second round of any Grand Slam other than the US Open, where she reached the third round before being defeated by Madison Keys.

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