June 05, 2023

French Open Boots Doubles Players After Ball Girl Struck by Ball: During a third round French Open doubles match, Miyo Kato and Aldila Sutjiadi were disqualified because Kato unintentionally hit a ball girl while passing a ball to her after a point. The ball girl was caught off guard and she was struck in the neck. She fought tears for 10 minutes after players Marie Bouzkova and Sara Sorribes Tormo implored the chair to disqualify their opponents because the girl was injured -- but never checked on her themselves.

posted by rcade to tennis at 03:57 PM - 7 comments

I have Tennis Channel Plus so I watched the replay to see how this unfolded.

Bouzkova and Sorribes Tormo were so concerned about the ball girl being struck that they never walked over to her during the entire 10 minutes she was in the corner crying. They didn't even clap sympathetically with the rest of the crowd when the girl walked off the court.

Their concern began and ended with Kato and Sutjiadi being DQd.

posted by rcade at 04:16 PM on June 05, 2023

What a pathetic display. First, getting hit by a tennis ball struck by a professional (nonchalantly on the backhand) might not have been very pleasant, but for god's sake girl, hold it together. Then, for the opposing team to lobby for disqualification without ever once extending any sympathy to the young woman who was on their side of the court is just comically shitty. And to DQ competitors from a major tournament for what was clearly accidental speaks pretty poorly of the officials. Jeebus.

Edit--I clicked the second link and see that there is really no discretion for the chair umpire when a ball hits court staff. So disregard the above and I'll just say what a stupid rule that is.

posted by tahoemoj at 06:11 PM on June 05, 2023

If the kid had been treated better from the time the incident occurred, she might've been able to calm down. Instead she got to watch adults argue while the crowd gawked at her for interminable minutes. After a few minutes a staffer came over and huddled with her.

The rule should be that if the chair finds no intent and no anger on the player's part, it should be a minor penalty instead of a DQ.

posted by rcade at 08:06 PM on June 05, 2023

Yeah, I assumed her reaction had only a bit to do with getting hit and more to do with being thrust into the center of attention for an unfortunate reason. And I agree, if the adults handle this better, that can probably be mitigated. Though they--particularly Bouzkova and Sorribes Tormo--probably saw the same thing we did and thought, "Meh, she's fine. Now let's see if we can spin this to our advantage."

Why do we even have a chair if they can't look at something like this and conclude that DQ would be an immensely harsh penalty in this case?

posted by bender at 07:43 AM on June 06, 2023

I watch a lot of tennis and the chairs are annoyingly inconsistent about discipline. Players have broken their tennis rackets in anger on the chair's chair -- while they were sitting in it -- and gotten different treatment. If that isn't an obvious DQ I don't know what is.

posted by rcade at 09:26 AM on June 06, 2023

No argument here. Even in beaverbooard's link, while I don't imagine she intended to throw at the ball person, throwing the racket at all is reckless. That incident was substantially more deserving of DQ than the one at the top of this thread; I don't know if the difference between that one and this one is in rule or in judgment, but something needs addressing.

posted by bender at 03:04 PM on June 06, 2023

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