Brazil Open Ball Dogs Screenshot CNN

Shelter dogs from Sao Paolo’s slums were center court for an exhibition tennis match at the Brazil Open.

The four pups — Frida, Mel, Isabelle and Costela — were trained to be “ball dogs.” They proved to be great at retrieving stray shots — they just weren’t so good at returning the tennis balls.

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There were plenty of delays in the game as players, coaches, and dog trainers on the sidelines coaxed the pups to give up their bright, new toys.

The match was designed to raise awareness of rescue dogs nationwide and the need for people to adopt them.

WATCH: Tennis Pro’s Honesty Costs Him the Match, But Wins Hearts w/ Sportsmanship

The competitors, Spain’s Roberto Carballes Baena and Portugal’s Gastao Elias, played along — but the dogs were the big winners of the match.

(WATCH the video from CNN below) — Photo: news video

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