Rachel Fieldhouse

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Fri, 27 May, 2022

Tennis player’s violent act leaves little boy in tears

Tennis player’s violent act leaves little boy in tears

A little boy was left startled and in tears after a Romanian tennis player’s racquet ended up in the crowd at the French Open on Thursday.

Irina-Camelia Begu was 2-0 down in the third set of her second round match when she threw her racquet against a water box, according to The Sun.

However, the racquet bounced violently off the box and into the stands, leaving the young boy distraught and startled.

Though the World No. 63 wasn’t defaulted, she did receive a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct after a tournament supervisor was consulted.

Ms Begu later apologised to the little boy in question, posing for a photo with him and his parents.

“It’s an embarrassing moment for me. I just want to apologise,” Ms Begu said.

“In my whole career I haven’t done something like this and I feel really bad and sorry. Sorry for the incident.

“It was a difficult moment because I didn’t want to hit that racquet.

“You hit the clay with the racquet but you never expect to fly that much.”

Ekaterina Alexandrova, who Ms Bega went on to defeat 6-7 6-3 6-4 in that match, said she was “disappointed” to leave the competition “like that”.

“I was trying to do my best but seems like the rules were against me,” she said.

“This shouldn’t be happening.

“I hope after today’s match rules will be improved for everyone’s safety. We are responsible for our racquet.”

Journalists and viewers of the match quickly took to social media to question how Ms Begu avoided disqualification over the incident. 

“Folks, why are we still allowing this?” the New York Times’ Ben Rothenberg tweeted.

“Begu didn’t throw the racquet especially hard but the consequences of her action shouldn’t be shrugged off by officials.”

Photographer Ella Ling wrote: “I was there (I’m in that shot). Absolutely beggars belief how she was allowed to continue playing. Horrible.”

The incident comes after Russian Andrey Rublev also escaped major punishment earlier on in the French Open after he slammed a ball in anger and it rebounded, flying past a tournament court assistant.

“Seeing the Begu incident and Rublev incident from the other day, tennis officials really need to step up their game,” former world double No. 1 Rennae Stubbs said.

“I think both should have been defaults.

“We MUST start making players accountable for stupid decisions and those were both stupid decisions and could have been a lot worse.”

Image: Getty Images