Sports Journalist: Miyu Kato Disqualified from French Open Doubles for Hitting Ball Girl
Japanese tennis player Miyu Kato was disqualified from the French Open doubles tournament after hitting a ball girl with a ball. The incident left her visibly distressed, leading to widespread criticism of her opponents Marie Bouzkova and Sara Sorribes Tormo for seemingly encouraging officials to disqualify Kato.
The Emotional Fallout
The day after the event, Kato played in the mixed doubles but cried on court and struggled to talk to journalists about what had happened. Her partner Tim Puetz said that “Miyu feels terrible about what happened,” while she offered “sincere” apologies to the youngster for the “unfortunate mishap”.
In a news conference after Monday’s mixed doubles match, a teary-eyed Kato did not speak before leaving the interview room to compose herself. She managed to return a few minutes later but only feeling composed enough to answer questions in Japanese.
The Repercussions of Disqualification
Kato stands lose thousands of euros (37k) in prize money and ranking points if she cannot overturn her disqualification. While Germany’s Tim Puetz expressed relief when they were allowed back into mixed doubles play, he acknowledged how difficult it was seeing his partner face punishment.
“It was so bad. Everybody in the men’s locker room was saying it was impossible to default her. You feel so bad for the person.”
Criticism Directed Towards Opponents Marie Bouzkova and Sara Sorribes Tormo
Bouzkova and Sorribes Tormo have received a lot of backlash for their actions after the incident. However, Sorribes Tormo defended their reaction and insisted that they did nothing wrong.
“For Marie and for me it’s tough to have all this kind of things that people are saying,” she said after losing in the singles fourth round on Monday.
While emotions were running high during the French Open doubles tournament, it remains unclear what long-term effects this will have on Kato’s career.
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