Jenson Brooksby caused quite a stir on Thursday when he hurled a racket towards a ballboy in a fit of rage during his first-round match against Federico Coria at the Miami Open.
Brooksby later met the ballboy and apologized, but that was not enough to defuse the situation, with many fans on social media criticizing him for his petulant act. Surprisingly, chair umpire Carlos Bernardes only slapped him with a point penalty and no immediate disqualification.
Speaking after his 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 defeat to the 21-year-old, Federico Coria did not hide his displeasure with the American's actions. The Argentine opined that Brooksby got away almost scot-free because he was a white-skinned American. He further claimed that if a latino were in the same situation, he would have been hit with a much stricter punishment.
“If you assault someone on the field, you should be disqualified directly," Federico Coria said. "The ATP will have to clarify the rules to follow. I told Carlos that I was disappointed because he didn't even want to ask the ballboy how he was. I don't know why he acted like that. If any 'Latino' had done that, he would have been suspended for three months."
Many fans on social media also opined that Brooksby should have been disqualified and brought up the example of Novak Djokovic, who was defaulted for striking a lineswoman with a ball in a fit of rage at the US Open two years ago.
"I am truly sorry for my actions out there today" - Jenson Brooksby's apology to the ballboy
Jenson Brooksby met the ballboy after the match and apologized for his actions. He even had a video filmed of their meeting, which he later uploaded on Instagram.
The young American admitted his mistake and insisted that he would learn from it.
"I am truly sorry for my actions out there today," Jenson Brooksby wrote. "I will learn from this and continue to grow on and off court. Thanks to the fans for the support out there today! See you on Saturday!"
However, fans on social media did not take kindly to Brooksby filming his meeting with the ballboy.
One fan pointed out that the American filmed the apology as a means to garner positive PR.
Other reactions towards Jenson Brooksby's act of petulance can be read here.
The American will take on Nikoloz Basilashvili in the the third round of the Masters 1000 event.
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