Tennis was embroiled in a new row of recklessness when world No.8 Maria Sakkari was told to ‘shut your mouth’ after she hit the ball into the stands, months after a player was disqualified for hitting a ball boy
Maria Sakkari and Danielle Collins clashed on court as tennis became embroiled in another debate over player recklessness.
Greek world number 8 Sakkari was lifted by her American opponent at the Canadian Open in Montreal after hitting a ball through the crowd.
Early in the second set, Sakkari smashed the ball into the ground and it bounced into the stands.
She was quick to raise an apologetic hand to the spectators, but Collins was unwilling to let the matter rest, asking the chair umpire: ‘Did you just see that? Did you see what happened?
Sakkari, preparing for his second serve, replied: ‘He didn’t even hit anyone. He was on the ground.
Maris Sakkari and Danielle Collins got into a fight at the Canadian Open after the Greek player (in front of shot) hit a ball in the stands (ball visible to right of court)
Sakkari was quick to offer a hand of apology to the viewers, but her opponent, Danielle Collins, wasn’t ready to let the matter go.
Sakkari, the Greek world number 8, protested that she had hit the ball on the court to stop it.
Collins duly responds: “Shut the fuck up, shut the fuck up.”
That only served to escalate the dispute, with Sakkari asking, ‘What’s your problem? I didn’t hit anyone. I framed the ball.
Not wanting to back down, Collins said: ‘You hit the ball in the stands, Maria. You almost hit someone.
Sakkari then repeats that he did not hit anyone, claiming that he deliberately hit the ball down the court to slow it down.
As the crowd becomes more animated, the referee manages to calm things down. Collins went on to win the round of 32 contest 6-4, 6-2 and the two players shook hands at the end.
Tennis journalist Ben Rothenberg, who shared the clip on X, said: “I agree with Collins here: referees need to be much tougher on players who recklessly hit the ball and throw rackets into the stands.”
‘You shouldn’t look away then that happens.’
Sakkari was not happy that her opponent Collins had accused her of recklessness.
Collins told Sakkari to ‘shut the fuck up’ as the fight escalated during the second set
Sakkari couldn’t see what the problem was and said he didn’t hit any of the bystanders.
There was a friendly finale after Collins claimed victory in straight sets to reach the round of 16.
It came two months after a women’s doubles pair was disqualified from the French Open after a ball boy was beaten and crying.
Japanese player Miyu Kato fired a cross shot that hit the ball boy in the shoulder.
Initially with a warning from the referee, a protest by opponents Marie Bouzkova and Sara Sorribes Tormo led to the abandonment of the match with Kato and fellow Indonesian Aldila Sutjiadi disqualified despite attempting to plead not guilty.
Kato tried to comfort the ball boy and apologized before the Japanese-Indonesian couple pleaded with officials that it was not a deliberate act. The ball boy was led off the court by the officials.
When referee Alexandre Juge confirmed the disqualification, Kato herself burst into tears.
During discussions, an official likened 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 hurt, then you are responsible for that action,” the official said. ‘Even if you don’t mean it, you are still responsible for that action.’
A ball boy broke down in tears at the French Open after a shot from Japan’s Miyu Kato hit her shoulder between points, resulting in Kato and her partner being disqualified.
The ball can be seen just to the left of the court flying towards the ball boy in the lower left.
Kato went over to comfort the young man but to no avail as they were disqualified.