A player at Roland Garros was allowed to continue — and eventually won — her match after tossing her racket and bouncing it into the stands, the latest in a series of episodes involving professional tennis players venting anger at their equipment.
Irina-Camelia Begu, a 31-year-old Romanian who is in 63rd place, had just dropped the opening point of a match while trailing 2-0 in the third set in Court 13 against 30-seeded Ekaterina Alexandrova in the third set. second round in Paris.
Begu walked to the sidelines and threw her racket, which lifted off the red clay and flew right behind Referee Anis Ressaissi’s seat, landing among the spectators seated on the side of the court. Fans gasped and a crying child was heard.
The game was delayed for five minutes as Ressaissi called a supervisor, who came to the field and spoke to the umpire, then to the people in the crowd and then to both players.
Begu was warned for unsportsmanlike conduct but was allowed to continue playing.
“Alexandrova angry, public booing,” reported Portuguese journalist Jose Morgado.
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“Ekaterina very upset, throws a ball out of bounds. ‘So I can do that too’.
“Get a code violation (like Begu), crowd angry. Dramatic scenes.”
Photographer Ella Ling, who ran the contest, tweeted to the court: “It is absolutely unbelievable how she was allowed to continue playing. Horrible.”
“People, why are we still allowing this?” the New York Times’ Ben Rothenberg tweeted.
“Begu did not throw the racket particularly hard, but the consequences of her action should not be shaken by officials.”
She won the first point after the break in action and went on to claim six of the last eight games of the game for a 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-4 comeback win to reach the third round at the French Open. reach for the first time since 2019.
“It’s an embarrassing moment for me, so I don’t want to talk too much about it. I just want to apologize,” Begu said at her post-match press conference. “My whole career I haven’t done anything like that, and I feel really bad and regret it. So I’m just going to say one more time: sorry for the incident and, yes, it was just an embarrassing moment for me.”
When asked if she thought she would default — in other words, prevented from playing and forced to lose the match — Begu replied, “You hit the clay with the racket, but you never expect (it) that way.” a lot of flies. It was, like I said, an embarrassing moment for me, and I just want to end it and not talk about it.”
Then, when a reporter wanted to know what the chair umpire or supervisor said to her, Begu said, “Again, can we move on?
Because I’ll answer the same: I’m just saying, ‘I’m sorry,’ and that’s it.”
A spokeswoman for the French Tennis Federation said organizers had no immediate comment but that tournament referee Remy Azemar was expected to explain what happened.
In the first round of the French Open, seventh-seeded man Andrey Rublev reacted to losing the first set of an eventual win by hitting a ball with his racket that bounced off the base of the referee’s chair. The ball flew near one of the track groomers and smoothed out the clay between sets.
Earlier this season gold medalist of the Olympic Games in Tokyo Alexander Zverev was given a year’s probation by the ATP men’s tour for violently knocking the referee’s stand off the chair repeatedly with his racket after a doubles loss at the Mexico Open in February. He was also fined $40,000 and forfeited over $30,000 in prize money, along with all the leaderboard points he earned during that tournament.
As he walked to the sidelines for a substitution, Pablo Carreño Busta trailing 6-5 in the first set, Djokovic smashed a ball behind him. The ball flew straight for the linesman, who fell to her knees in the back of the field and reached for her neck.
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