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Miyu Kato loses women's doubles money for accidentally hitting ball girl


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If you watch the video, she quite casually hits the ball, backhand to the other side of the court. The two opponents complain to the umpire, likely because they are losing, to disqualify Kato, saying, 'look, she is crying', speaking of the ball girl.

The ball girl...I can't believe she is crying...it wasn't like a ball hitting her directly from her side of the court, nor was the ball hit very hard. Normally, it should have been easy to catch that ball. She had to be not paying attention. It wasn't a smash, it was lightly hit from Kato on her backhand from the other side of the court. It's something anyone does playing tennis. No one hits a ball maliciously dropping it and lightly hitting with a backhand drop.

Sensibility says the far more petulant behavior of tennis players make it ridiculous to make Kato an example, here. The ball girl should be fired for being such a crybaby and not doing her job. The video doesn't show her getting hit, but come on...no way she should be crying her eyes out.

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At first, chair umpire Alexandre Juge only issued a warning to Kato. But after Azemar and Grand Slam supervisor Wayne McEwen went to Court 14 to look into what happened, Kato and Sutjiadi defaulted the match.

Should read, "After her opponents made a big disgraceful scene".

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@forest If they're going to do this to Kato for such an innocuous 'hit' of a ball toward what is either a poorly trained ball girl and/or just incompetent, then all the juvenile behavior and verbal abuse should be done strictly to a rule, with no exception. A Djokokovic temper tantrum arguing should be an immediate DQ in a final.

Believe me, if this happened in a final to him, the powers that be would say..wait a sec, we make an exception, this is the final, he is famous, and he didn't mean to do it. They would not strictly stop a final with the crowd and the world watching. So, why can the goal posts move so readily? And they would.

How many times have we heard of famous players hitting balls into the stands. If the person cries, the player get kicked out, but if the 'victim' doesn't, it's OK? That's pretty much what happened here. It is arbitrary in that sense and a lack of sense cause this problem to be bigger than it should have been.

The opponent argues to win a match by saying the ball girl is crying, and you are good with that. Not me.

There is so much abuse in tennis that a Serena Williams can say she will kill an Asian lines person and she gets nothing. She makes Naomi Osaka cry when losing to her in the US Open, and that's just part of being a grand slam champ. No slap in the pocket book. Nothing for abusive behavior.

There's way too many goal post moving decisions in abuse and if that line's girl is not crying, and says everything is OK, admitting she wasn't look up, it'd have been fine. I blame the ball girl a ton more than Kato, and no, I am not a believer that 'rules are rules', when those rules can be manipulated by the opponent to their advantage.

Shame on those two for asking a DQ like that. Completely unsportsmanlike, and they're the one's who should be ashamed and losing their pay, but with support for the rules are rules idiocy, they happily go on to the next round.

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Decision was definitely not made in the spirit of the game and there will be differing opinions over how hurt was the ball girl really and how much did hte opponents push hte umpire to follow up his initial warning.

I saw the video and Miyu lobbed the ball back in hte direction of hte ball girl without even looking. That was the mistake.

The ballgirl was in fact looking at the other 2 players with ball hand to throw to them as it was their serve, She was slightly side on and not looking in the direction of the Miyu lob.

Probably the ball hit stung - maybe quite a bit - but I think most of the tears came from the shock and sudden heavy attention from all the officials and then Miyu. All a bit overwhelming. I mean she's just a 13 yr old kid.

And I do think umpires should use common sense discretionary powers in such cases but the bottom line is the Laws of the Game state to the effect that any hitting of a ball outside of play in a dangerous or even reckless manner resulting in an injury to others will see immediate forfeit of the match. So even if it was a mistake the duty of care is on the player.

By not looking at where she was lobbing the ball was careless. She should have hit the ball along the ground or even better as other posters said - leave it to the ball staff. It's part of their jobs.

Unfortunate incident - but hte happy ending is she won the mixed doubles final. Good on her.

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