French Open doubles players forced to forfeit match after accidentally hitting ball girl in neck

 The ball girl could be seen crying

The French Open experience ended abruptly on Sunday for doubles players Miyu Kato and Aldila Sutjiadi. 

The two tennis players were forced to forfeit their third-round match against Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic and Sara Sorribes Tormo of Spain after Kato accidentally hit a ball girl in the neck with a ball after a point. 

Miyu Kato serves behind Aldila Sutjiadi

Miyu Kato serves behind her partner Aldila Sutjiadi as they play against Beatriz Haddad Maia and Laura Siegemund in a doubles semifinal match at the BNP Paribas Open, March 17, 2023, in Indian Wells, California. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)

During the second set, Kato hit a ball off the court, connecting with the neck of a ball girl who was not looking toward Kato


The girl could be seen crying after the ball inadvertently hit her. 

Kato was at first issued a warning by chair umpire Alexandre Juge. Kato and Sutjiadi were later disqualified after the tournament referee and the Grand Slam supervisor came to the court to investigate. 


"Obviously, it's very unfortunate overall," Bouzkova said after the match, according to the Tennis Channel. "Sara and I, we've never been in this kind of situation, so we were kind of shaken up by this as well. It's just a tough situation for everyone. But it's something that, I guess, has to be taken by the rules as it is, even though it's very unfortunate for them."

Marie Bouzkova celebrates winning a point

Marie Bouzkova reacts after scoring a point against Wang Xinyu during the French Open at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Tuesday, May 30, 2023. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)

Bouzkova said the ball girl was "crying for like 15 minutes" and asked Juge to "look into it more and ask our opponents what they think happened."

Sunday’s disqualification is not the first time a player has been disqualified from a Grand Slam for inadvertently striking someone with a ball. 

A tennis ball on the clay

A tennis ball on the court during the Roland-Garros Open at the Court Simonne-Mathieu in Paris on June 3, 2023. (Julien de  Rosa/AFP via Getty Images)

At the 2020 U.S. Open, Novak Djokovic was disqualified in the Round of 16 after he hit a ball off the court, accidentally striking a line judge in the neck. 

Bouzkova and Sorribes Tormo advanced to the quarterfinals with Sunday’s win.

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