"I'm glad to hear that you are doing well" - French Open headliner and champion Miyu Kato meets up with ball kid after hit caused disqualification
Japanese tennis player Miyu Kato recently met up with the ball girl whom she accidentally hit during her French Open 2023 match.
Miyu Kato grabbed the headlines after being controversially disqualified from the 2023 French Open women’s doubles category for accidentally hitting a ball girl. The unfortunate incident happened during her and Aldila Sutjiadi’s third-round match against Marie Bouzkova and Sara Sorribes Tormo on Sunday, June 4.
Kato has now made amends with the ball girl who was reduced to tears after the overwhelming incident. The 28-year-old player shared the details of their meet-up and praised the ball girl for continuing as a volunteer at the French Open.
“I'm glad to hear that you are doing well and continue to Volunteer as a Ball Girl. It makes me very happy to hear this. I hope you enjoy the gift that I got you, and I look forward to seeing you again! Wishing you the Very Best!” Miyu Kato wrote in a social media post.
The Japanese had previously apologized to the girl for the mishap and revealed that she had forfeited her prize money and received a point penalty for her unintentional hit.
“I would like to sincerely apologize to the Ball Girl, my partner Aldila & Team, & my supporters because of today's unfortunate mishap. It was completely unintentional. As a result, I am penalized by RG by forfeiting my prize money & points. I appreciate all your continued support!” she said.
Miyu Kato's French Open 2023 campaign gets a fairy-tale ending with maiden Grand Slam title
Despite the abrupt ending to her women’s doubles campaign, Miyu Kato’s 2023 French Open appearance went on to become the biggest highlight of her career yet. She clinched her maiden Grand Slam title in the mixed doubles category just days later on June 8.
Miyu Kato and her partner Tim Puetz defeated the mixed doubles pair of Bianca Andreescu and Michael Venus 4-6, 6-4, 10-6 in the final to clinch their maiden Slam trophies.
In her winner’s speech, Kato addressed her disqualification. She stated that she has made an appeal to the French Open authorities regarding their decision to strip her of her doubles ranking points and prize money.
“To Roland Garros, it’s unfortunate about the disqualification. I’m looking for a positive outcome for my appeal. So I can receive my points & prize money,” she said.
The 28-year-old had nothing but kind words for her women’s doubles opponents Marie Bouzkova and Sara Sorribes Tormo, who drew the ire of the tennis world for allegedly influencing the chair umpire in taking the drastic decision of disqualification.
“To Sara & Marie, Altdila & I hope we can play each other again somewhere & have a great match,” Kato said.