The doubles tandem of Japan’s Miyu Kato and Indonesia’s Aldila Sutjiadi was disqualified from French Open competition Sunday after Kato accidentally struck a ball girl with a tennis ball between points.
After a point in the second set, Kato hit the ball over the net to the opposing team of the Czech Republic’s Marie Bouzkova and Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo. However, the ball instead hit one of the ball girls standing to the rear of the court.
The chair umpire of the match, Alexandre Juge, initially gave a warning to Kato. But he then investigated further and learned that the ball girl was hurt. Bouzkova said she noticed blood on the ball girl as a result of the hit.
It’s a rule in tennis that if a ball person is hit during a match and is hurt, even accidentally, the player or team is disqualified.
The ball girl seemed upset after being hit, as shown in the video below. Kato approached the girl afterward and tried to comfort her.
Kato appeared upset as well after accidentally hurting the girl and because her team was disqualified from a major tournament.
“It’s just a bad situation for everyone,” Bouzkova said, via the Associated Press. “But it’s kind of something that, I guess, is taken by the rules, as it is, even though it’s very unfortunate for them. ... At the end of the day, it was the referee’s decision.”
At the time of the disqualification, Kato and Sutjiadi had lost the first set 7–6 but were leading the second set, 3-1.