The sunny skies of Roland Garros were marred by an unfortunate turn of events during a doubles match on Sunday. Miyu Kato and Aldila Sutjiadi, the No. 16 seed pair from Japan and Indonesia respectively, were defaulted from their third-round match against Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo and the Czech Republic’s Marie Bouzkova.
The match was progressing well in its opening set, with the seeded pair leading 7-6 in a tiebreak. However, Kato’s shot during a point at 3-1 in the second set inadvertently hit a ball girl, leaving her shaken up and crying on court. While contact was unintentional, the chair umpire defaulted Kato and Sutjiadi from the match.
Roland Garros officials immediately sent out medical personnel to attend to the ball girl, while Sorribes Tormo and Bouzkova were declared as the winners of the match. Speaking after their victory, Sorribes Tormo said “We feel sorry for what happened. We hope the ball girl will be OK soon and we wish Kato and Sutjiadi all the best in their future matches.”
The incident was a stark reminder of how easily things can go wrong on court, often with unexpected consequences. However, it is also evidence that the sport is still able to bring out the best in people, as shown by Sorribes Tormo’s kind words.
Kato and Sutjiadi, while disappointed with the outcome, have continued to show sportsmanship throughout this incident. They were quick to apologize for their unintentional mistake and understand the decision of the officials. The unfortunate events at Roland Garros have brought home the importance of playing with respect and caution, even in the heat of a competitive match.