A ball girl being hit by a ball was the reason for a doubles match during the French Open to be ended controversially.
The game between Sara Sorribes Tormo from Spain and Marie Bouzkova from the Czech Republic and their opponents Miyu Kato from Japan and Inodensia’s Aldila Sutjiadi ended during the second set of the third round.
CNN reports that Kato innocuously hit the ball to the back of the court after a point, and though it didn’t appear as if she intentionally meant to hit the ball girl, the ball hit her head. The ball girl stool at the back of the court. She was tearful and visibly shaken.
After the incident, the chair umpire issued a code violation. Soon after that, a grand slam supervisor and the French Open’s official tournament referee appeared on the court.
Discussions then took place between the players and the officials. Shortly after, it was announced that Kato and Suthiadi had been defaulted.
In a tweet, tennis journalist Ben Rothenberg shared his feelings about the decision:
“Brutal call. Ball not hit in anger whatsoever, just hit across to ball girl to keep the match flowing because it was the other team’s turn to serve. Ball girl had hands full, reacted late.”
According to the grand slam rule book, a player who is defaulted loses all ranking points earned at the tournament as well as all prize money earned at the tournament.
Image credit: CNN