Tennis player Naomi Broady was close to tears during her second-round match against Jelena Ostapenko at the Auckland Open on Wednesday. The Briton was angry with Ostapenko for throwing her racket at the ball boy.
The incident occurred when Ostapenko’s racket left her hand and flew in the direction of a ball boy standing at the back of the court.
Broady would proceed to complain to the umpire after Ostapenko went unpunished. According to Broady, the incident wasn’t an accident, as claimed by her World No 88 opponent. “You’ll see on the replay, there’s no way it was accidental. She threw the racquet and it struck the ball boy,” Broady, the British No 3, told the umpire in an on-court exchange (Watch Vine Below).
During the 1995 Wimbledon, Tim Henman was disqualified and fined $10,000 for accidentally hitting a ball girl in an act of frustration. Similarly, David David was ejected from the 2012 Queens final for kicking at an advertising billboard.
According to WTA regulations, “the players shall not at any time physically abuse any official, opponent, spectator or other person…for the purposes of this rule, physical abuse is the unauthorized touching of an official, opponent and spectator (any) or other person.”
Eventually, the British star saved two match points before defeating her Latvian counterpart 4-6, 7-6 (4), 7-5. “Jelena (Ostapenko ) commented that my behavior was terrible, which I thought was a bit out of order considering the events that had gone on in the match,” an infuriated Broady said after the game.
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‘You hit a ball boy with your racquet…’
— Eurosport UK (@Eurosport_UK) January 6, 2016