Kato and Sutjiadi were leading 3-1 in the second set of their third round match when the incident happened. Image Credit: Kato/Instagram

Paris: Miyu Kato and Aldila Sutjiadi were disqualified from the French Open on Sunday after a ballgirl was accidentally hit by a harmless looking lob in an incident which also called into question the sportsmanship of their opponents.

The drama happened when the Japanese player and her Indonesian partner were leading 3-1 in the second set after opponents Marie Bouzkova and Sara Sorribes Tormo had claimed the opener.

Standing at the net, Kato gently backhanded a ball in the direction of the ballgirl standing at the opposite end of Court 14 in an apparent effort to help the flow of the match.


Instead, it hit the youngster on the back of the head.

Kato, 28, immediately apologised to the girl who was crying and shaking.

At first Kato received just a warning but the supervisor was then called to the court and the pair, seeded 16 in the tournament, were disqualified from the third round match after Bouzkova and Sorribes Tormo had protested to the umpire.

"I didn't see it, our team saw it," said Bouzkova. "But I saw that the girl was still crying for 15 minutes afterwards.

"The warning first happened because the umpire didn't see that she was crying and she was in that kind of pain.

"We told the supervisor that he should look more into it because we saw the girl was crying and the ball had gone directly at her. It wasn't like the ball bounced or was a slower ball."

She added: "It was in his hands. It was unfortunate."

On Saturday, Russia's Mirra Andreeva admitted she had been fortunate not to have been defaulted from her match against Coco Gauff after firing a ball petulantly into the crowd on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

"Right after I thought that it was a really stupid move from me, because it was not necessary to do that," admitted a crestfallen Andreeva who was beaten by the American in three sets.

"It was really bad what I did. Yes, I had thoughts like this (that she would be defaulted), but he just gave me a warning."

Novak Djokovic was famously defaulted from the 2020 US Open after swatting away a ball in frustration which then speared into a lineswoman standing nearby.