A routine doubles match at Roland Garros turned into a hot story on Sunday when 16th-ranked Miu Kato of Japan and Aldila Sotjiadi of Indonesia were disqualified in the third round against Spain's Sara Sorribes Tormo and Czech Marie Bouzkova.
The Japanese-Indonesian duo lost the opening set in a tiebreaker and led 1-3 in the second set when Kato flipped a ball, which hit the ball girl directly. Although the incident was not intentional, the ball girl began to cry, prompting chair referee Alexander Jaj to issue a code violation, and summon Grand Slam supervisor Wayne McEwen to the court.
A controversial ending to a women's doubles match as Kato/Sutjiadi were disqualified for hitting a ball girl ❌ pic.twitter.com/qaFHF8UpnT
— Eurosport (@eurosport) June 4, 2023
Later, the tournament referee, Rami Azmar, arrived, and after a lengthy discussion between the three referees and the players, as well as between the referees and the ball girl, it was decided to immediately disqualify Kato and Sotjiadi. The moment quickly went viral on social media, with many wondering whether Bouzkova and Sorbes Tormo had pushed for disqualification contrary to the initial warning.
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"I would just say it's an unfortunate event," Bouzkova said, "If she had been the blow and it was so far away from the girl, nothing would have happened and we wouldn't have had this conversation."
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