A French Open doubles match Sunday took a strange twist. There, the team of Japan’s Miyu Kato and Indonesia’s Aldila Sutjiadi were disqualified from their match against Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic and Sara Sorribes Tormo of Spain. That disqualification came in the second set: Bouzkova and Sorribes Tormo took the first set 7-6, but Kato and Sutjiadi were leading the second set 3-1. And then Kato hit a backhand on a loose ball on the court between points, with that shot hitting a ball girl.
— Tennis Channel (@TennisChannel) June 4, 2023
Kato and Sutjiadi initially received just a warning from chair umpire Alexandre Juge. But tournament referee Remy Azemar and Grand Slam supervisor Wayne McEwen then went to the court to discuss the situation with Juge, and that led to the forfeit. Bouzkova had some notable comments afterwards:
“It’s just a bad situation for everyone,” Bouzkova said. “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.”
Bouzkova said she did not see the ball hit the ball girl, but “she was crying for like 15 minutes.”
She said one of the officials said the ball “has to do some kind of harm to the person affected” and that “at first, (Juge) didn’t see that.”
Bouzkova said she and Sorribes Tormo told Juge “to look into it more and ask our opponents what they think happened.”
That action from Bouzkova and Sorribes Tormo drew some criticism on Twitter, as did the decision to issue a disqualification here.
Surprised this resulted in a default.
Smacking the ball in anger, not caring where it goes, is one thing, but Kato seemed to be appropriately returning the ball. It was a genuine accident, not one caused by disregarding the safety of others. Can't the rules recognise that? https://t.co/H1Ed9HDEd2
— The Tennis Podcast (@TennisPodcast) June 4, 2023
It was unintentilnal ball hit to the ball person by Kato. Hope everything is fine with ball girl. Very unfortunate incident. But I was very disappointed by unsportsmanlike attitude by Bouzkova & Sorribes Tormo appeaking for default and were even laughing😩 https://t.co/8RyeZpep1g pic.twitter.com/SEmhIp77wy
— ハモ (@Vestige_du_jour) June 4, 2023
If Sorribes Tormo and Bouzkova were so concerned about the ballkid why didn't they go to check her and see if she's ok? Kato went to her and apologized, the ballkid said it's all good, she was probably just shocked of what happened. I'm still surprised by how this ended 🤔 pic.twitter.com/B3wqAEYwi8
— LorenaPopa 🕵️♀️🎾 (@popalorena) June 4, 2023
This also came after Mirra Andreeva hit a ball into the stands in a French Open singles match against Coco Gauff Saturday. Andreeva, who would go on to lose that match, received only a warning for that rather than a disqualification.
With this disqualification, Bouzkova and Sorribes Tormo are moving on to the quarterfinals. There, they’ll face Ellen Perez of Australia and Nicole Melichar-Martinez of the United States Tuesday.