French Open 2023: Women’s doubles team disqualified after ‘unintentionally’ hitting ball girl

The match was between Japanese and Indonesian pair Miyu Kato and Aldila Sutjiadi, who were taking on Czech Republic’s Marie Bouzkova and Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo in a third round match. In the second set, a ball hit by Kato cross-court hit a ball girl which left her in pain and tears.

The distress on the young ball girl’s face was vivid when the Czech and Spanish pair took the matter to the umpire. Kato was initially warned but after the protests from the opponents, their team was disqualified.

French Open 2023: Ball Girl gets hit – Watch

“I didn’t see it, our team saw it. But I saw that the girl was still crying for 15 minutes afterwards. The warning first happened because the umpire didn’t see that she was crying and she was in that kind of pain,” Buzkova said after getting an entry to the quarter-finals.

“We told the supervisor that he should look more into it because we saw the girl was crying and the ball had gone directly at her. It wasn’t like the ball bounced or was a slower ball,” the Czech player added.

The pair will be up against Ellen Perez and Nicole Melichar-Martinez on Tuesday (June 6) in the last 8. The fate of Kato and Sutjiadi was sealed as they made a teary exit from the tournament. Kato later took to Twitter and apologised to the ball girl for her ‘unintentional’ mishap.

“I would like to sincerely apologize to the ball girl, my partner and my supporters because of today’s unfortunate mishap. It was completely unintentional. As a result, I am penalized by Roland Garros by forfeiting my prize money and points,” Kato said in her tweet.

It is understood the pair pleaded the umpire to not suspend them and Kato even went on and talked with the ball girl but in vain. The Japanese left the pitch in tears as a silly mistake ended their dreams.

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