French Open 2023: Doubles pair disqualified after ‘accidentally’ hitting ball girl in the head


June 6 2023
French Open 2023 Tennis

The incident occurred during the third-round match in women’s doubles between Miyu Kato/Aldila Sutjiadi and Marie Bouzkova/Sara Sorribes Tormo.

Women’s doubles pair Miyu Kato and Aldila Sutjiadi were controversially disqualified from French Open 2023. The women’s tennis team of Miyu Kato (Japan) and Aldila Sutjiadi (Indonesia) were disqualified from the French Open 2023 shortly after Kato unintentionally smashed a ball girl in the round 3 match on June 4.

In the third round of the women’s doubles match, Kato and Sutjiadi faced Marie Bouzkova and Sara Sorribes Tormo. The Japanese/Indonesian pair rebounded from a 7-6(1) loss in the first set to take a (1-3) advantage in the subsequent one.

Following the fourth game of the second set, Kato mistakenly struck a ball girl on the opposite side of the net while attempting to deliver the ball. Hit suddenly by a tennis ball, the ball girl was shocked and started sobbing.

Umpire Alexandre Juge gave a code violation at that moment before summoning Grand Slam supervisor Wayne McKewen to the playing field to assess the matter. Remy Azémar, the tournament’s official, joined the pair and could be seen negotiating how to proceed.

After consulting with the match supervisor, the chair umpire dismissed Kato and Sutjiadi, delivering the victory to Bouzkova and Sorribes Tormo. As The 28-year-old player departed the tennis court weeping, Bouzkova and Sorribes Tormo advanced to the quarter-finals of the women’s doubles event, where the duo are scheduled to face sixth seeds Ellen Perez and Nicole Melichar-Martinez.

What did Miyu Kato do after elimination from French Open 2023?

Miyu Kato has apologized over the French Open issue and has agreed to forgo prize money and ranking points. After the game, the 28-year-old posted on Twitter and expressed regret to the ball girl and her partner for the event. 

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The Japanese player underlined that whatever happened on the court was not intended and that she would be forfeiting her prize money and points for ranking acquired at the French Open 2023 after being fined by the tournament organization.

“I would like to sincerely apologize to the ball girl, my partner Aldila&Team, & my supporters because of today’s unfortunate mishap. It was completely unintentional. As a result, I am penalized by RG by forfeiting my prize money & points. I appreciate all your continued support,” Kato wrote.

Check out Miyu Kato’s tweet below:

According to the grand slam regulation book, competitors are not permitted to strike, kick, or fling a tennis ball within the confines of the game premises, save in the fair pursuit of a point during the game (including warm-up).

The rule book stipulates that in all circumstances of default, the referee’s conclusion after conferring with the grand slam chief of supervisors is definitive and unappealable. The handbook also defines that a defaulted player forfeits all the tournament’s ranking points and prize money.

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