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French Open: Doubles pair disqualified after ball girl is hit



Japan’s Miyu Kato and Indonesia’s Aldila Sutjiadi were disqualified from the French Open after Kato struck a ball down the court between points, hitting a ball girl, during their women’s doubles third-round match on Sunday.

Umpire Alexandre Juge gave Kato a warning before Czech Marie Bouzkova and Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo, on the other side of the net, asked for their opponents to be disqualified.

“No, no, let me explain to you. She (Kato) didn’t do it on purpose, she (the ball girl) didn’t get injured,” Juge said.

“She didn’t do it on purpose? She’s crying,” Sorribes Tormo said.

“And she has blood,” Bouzkova added, prompting the umpire to go to see the ball girl, who was sobbing.


After speaking to the girl, the umpire went back up to his chair and announced the end of the match with the disqualification of Kato and Sutjiadi.

Bouzkova and Sorribes Tormo were leading 7-6(1) 1-3 at the time.


Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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