The (not so powerful and completely unintentional) ball to a ball boy in a women's doubles match at the Roland Garros 2023 created quite a bit of discussion within the Tour. The disputed episode resulted in the disqualification of the couple, the Japanese Miyu Kato (perpetrator of the gesture) and the Monegasque Aldila Sutjiadi, and the table victory of the duo Bouzkova-Sorribes Tormo, also accused of having pushed the chair umpire to take the decision not to continue the match.
The case has returned to open up a theme repeatedly touched upon by players and enthusiasts, which according to the regulation provides for the immediate disqualification of the author of the action, as happened to Novak Djokovic at the 2020 Us Open.
Kato, who is trying to make up for it in mixed doubles (she is in the semifinal), told 'L'Equipe': "I will face my responsibilities. I await the fine and the sanction, I can only thank the crowd for not booing me. Normally, we are provided with match footage after playing.
Curiously, they weren't available this time. I don't know if it was intentional or not, but they didn't want to show us the pictures. I don't think my ball hit the ball boy that hard."
Novak Djokovic's PTPA expressed on Miyu Kato's issue!
Then she attacked the behavior of the opponents: "They told me that I had hit her in the neck, but she was touching her chest. My rivals, who had their backs to her, commented that I had hit her on the head and I don't know why they said the ball girl was bleeding.
I don't think it was true. I don't understand their attitude and why they acted like this to make the situation worse." At the press conference, Sorribes Tormo replied and recounted her version of events: "All we did was go to the judge and explain what had happened.
We told him the ball girl was crying and we were afraid to see how she was. He didn't see what happened and we told him the ball went straight to her. Then the decision was made by the supervisor. We did nothing." Novak Djokovic's PTPA also intervened on the episode with a statement: "We understand that the top priority is to ensure the well-being of the ball boys, but the disqualification of Miyu Kato and Aldila Sutjiadi was unreasonably disproportionate and unfair. It is clear that the incident was accidental and non-aggressive."
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