The pair of doubles are DISQUALIFIED from Roland Garros after the ball girl was hit on the shoulder by Miyu Kato and left in tears… with their opponents protesting for the original warning improved by officials
- The incident happened between the points after Miyu Kato’s cross shot
- He stuck a ball girl on the shoulder and left the youngster visibly distressed
- Kato and partner Aldila Sutjiadi were disqualified after opponents protest
A women’s doubles pair have been disqualified from the French Open after a player hit a ball player with a ball and left her in tears.
Japan’s Miyu Kato fired a cross shot at the ball player between the spikes, hitting her on the shoulder. With the girl in distress, Kato first received a warning from the referee.
However, a protest from opponents Marie Bouzkova and Sara Sorribes Tormo led to the match being abandoned with Kato and her Indonesian partner Aldila Sutjiadi disqualified.
Kato tried to console the ballerina and apologized before the Japanese-Indonesian duo pleaded with officials that it was not a deliberate act. The ball girl was guided off the field by officials.
When referee Alexandre Juge upheld the disqualification, Kato herself burst into tears.
A ball player was left in tears at French Open after being pinned in the shoulder by a shot from Japan’s Miyu Kato between the points – leading to Kato and her partner being disqualified
The ball can be seen just left of the field flying towards the ballerina in the bottom left
The ball hit the ballerina (bottom left) as the players prepared between the points
During the talks, an official compared the incident to Novak Djokovic’s disqualification from the 2020 US Open after hitting a linesman in the throat with the ball.
“If you hit someone and they are injured, you are responsible for that action,” the official said. “Even if you don’t think so, you are still responsible for this action.”
Czech Bouzkova and Spaniard Sorribes won the first set 7-6 (7/1) but lost 3-1 to Kato and Sutjiadi in the second.
There were jeers from the crowd as the 16th seeds were disqualified and the pair cheered off the field. They will forfeit all prize money earned at Roland Garros and all ranking points earned.
Bouzkova then explained their protest: “It’s difficult. The girl cried for 15 minutes.
“I think the warning first happened because it [the umpire] I didn’t see that she was crying and she was in that kind of pain.
“We told him he should look more closely because the girl was crying and the ball went straight at her, it wasn’t a slower kind of ball. We told them [Kato and Sutjiadi] it is very unfortunate.
Kato went to console the youngster but to no avail as they were disqualified
A Roland Garros official explains the rules to Kato and his partner Aldila Sutjiadi before the referee confirms the end of the match
It was then Kato who needed to be comforted by her doubles partner after the default.
According to Grand Slam rules, players must not violently, dangerously or angrily strike, kick or throw a tennis ball within the confines of the tournament site, except in the reasonable pursuit of a point during a match (including warm-up) .
“In all cases of default, the decision of the referee in consultation with the Chief Grand Slam Supervisors shall be final and not subject to appeal.”
Men’s world No. 1 Djokovic has been expelled from the 2020 US Open after angrily sweeping away a ball that hit female linesman Laura Clark in the throat.
Djokovic initially pleaded that Clark was not seriously injured, but eventually had to default and later apologized for “causing him such stress”, saying his blow was “so unintentional, so wrong”.
Tim Henman, who would become Britain’s No. 1, was disqualified from Wimbledon doubles in 1995 for a similar incident with a wayward bullet.
Henman was playing alongside Jeremy Bates when he reacted angrily to netting a volley by kicking the ball which stuck a ballerina in the ear.
The referee decided to end the game right away, with opponents Henrik Holm and Jeff Tarango advancing.
Novak Djokovic checks the linesman he accidentally hit in the throat with a ball at US Open 2020 leading to his disqualification
Linesman Laura Clark held her throat after being hit by Djokovic’s kick