‘Crying’ Ball Kid Turns Disastrous for French Open Doubles Players as Nasty Opponent Duo Pry on the Victim to Oust Them From the Tournament

Published 06/04/2023, 10:02 AM EDT

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The 2023 French Open is turning out to be riddled with controversies. From political drama to controversial umpiring decisions to players backing out of press conferences, it’s certainly had its fill of moments that made the news for all the wrong reasons. However, the latest controversy to grip the tournament involves two specialists in doubles. Indonesian Aldila Sutjiadi and Japanese Miyu Kato were well into their second set in their third-round women’s doubles match against Czech Marie Bouzkova and Spaniard Sara Sorribes Tormo and leading 3-1. It seemed like the pair were recovering against the Czech-Spanish duo after losing the first set. However, just when everything was seemingly going right for them, a particular action initiated by Kato resulted in a flood of tears for a young ballgirl.

As a result, the chair umpire intervened and proceeded to default Sutjiadi and Kato. The duo’s opponents also had a shameful role to play in engineering their unfortunate exit from the tournament. Furthermore, the incident turned out to be a throwback to the 2020 US Open, where Novak Djokovic faced the wrath of the officials for something similar.

Despite issuing swift apology, both Kato and Sutjiadi forced to pack their bags by referee


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Following the conclusion of a point, with Kato and Sutjiadi leading the second set 3-1, Kato accidentally hit a ball in the direction of a ballgirl, and unfortunately for the Japanese doubles ace, the ball hit the girl. However, despite the accidental nature of the incident, the young ballgirl succumbed to fear and started crying.

Kato immediately rushed to the ballgirl to issue an apology. However, it was too little too late. In a matter of moments, Remy Azemar, the chair umpire descended from his seat. A lengthy conversation ensued between the referee, the players, and the officials. By the end of it, the referee had made up his mind.


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Not long after, Kato and Sutjiadi left the tournament as defaulters. Turns out that their opponents, Bouzkova and Sorribes Tormo brought the young ballgirl’s tears to the umpire’s attention. Before Bouzkova and Sorribes Tormo nudged the umpire to seal Kato and Sutjiadi’s fate, he remarked, “She didn’t do it on purpose, she didn’t get injured”. However, Bouzkova and Sorribes Tormo replied, “but she’s crying. She’s crying.”

Read More: ‘Don’t Want to Sit Here and Talk..’ – 2 Days After His Controversial ‘Tape’, Novak Djokovic Turns Edgy and Defensive About His Aging Body at French Open 2023

The Japanese-Indonesian duo would undoubtedly have been gutted by the referee’s decision to default them. After all, what Kato did wasn’t intentional at all. At the 2020 US Open, there was a much more high-profile defaulter; a certain someone who goes by the name Novak Djokovic.


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What happened at the 2020 US Open?

At the 2020 US Open, Djokovic was one of the overwhelming favorites to clinch the men’s singles title. However, during his fourth-round clash against Pablo Carreño Busta, the Serb inadvertently hit one of the line judges after losing a point.

via Reuters

As the woman line judge lay stricken on the floor, Djokovic walked up to her and held his hand up in apology. Despite his apology, Djokovic left the US Open as a defaulter. To add insult to injury, Djokovic also had to forfeit his prize money.


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Watch This Story: Novak Djokovic Not as Charismatic as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, Claims Former French Open Winner


Written by:

Sudipto Pati


One take at a time

Sudipto is a Tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He completed his graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication in 2012. His passion for writing became a full-time profession in 2019 after working as a musician and travelling educator.
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Edited by:

Arijit Saha