Why were Miyu Kato & Aldila Sutjiadi disqualified during their Roland Garros doubles match?
In a bizarre situation, the pair saw their hopes of doubles glory ended at Roland Gaross, after they accidentally hit a ball girl during their match on Sunday.
As the saying goes, ‘rules are rules’ but there will undoubtedly be some questions in need of answers after a women’s doubles match on Sunday saw the disqualification of one team due to an unfortunate circumstance. Here’s what happened
Miyu Kato & Aldila Sutjiadi disqualified for hitting ball girl at Roland Garros
If you caught Sunday’s play at the French Open in Paris, then no doubt you would have been perplexed by the situation which unfolded in the doubles match between the team of Miyu Kato/Aldila Sutjiadi and Marie Bouzkova/Sara Sorribes Tormowas, which led to the disqualification of Kato and Sutjiadi. Indeed, the duo which entered the tournament sitting at No. 16 in the world, found themselves down one set and up 3-1 in the second, when Kato hit the ball to the other side of the net during a break in play. Unfortunately, the ball went all the way to the back court and ended up striking a ball girl in the neck.
At that point, Umpire Alexandre Juge issued a code violation before calling Grand Slam supervisor, Wayne McKewen, to the court to review the situation. The pair were also joined by tournament referee, Remy Azémar, and could be seen discussing how to move forward. For her part, Kato attempted to approach and speak with the ball girl in an attempt to comfort her, but it didn’t seem to have much effect as she could be seen crying, while in a state of shock. If you didn’t know, hitting someone with a ball in a tennis match - even a spectator - results in an automatic default regardless of if its accidental. “Obviously, it’s very unfortunate overall,” Bouzkova said after her and teammate Sorribes Tormo advanced to the next round. “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.”
Has this happened before in tennis?
Actually yes. Back in 2020 during the US Open, then No. 1 ranked Novak Djokovic accidentally hit a line judge while playing against Pablo Carreño. Djokovic, just like Kato and Sutjiadi was immediately disqualified after the incident and was understandably livid about the situation. As for Bouzkova and Sorribes Tormo, they will now be facing Ellen Perez and Nicole Melichar-Marinez in the quarterfinals of Roland Garros, which are set for Tuesday.