Sara Sorribes Tormo - Roland Garros 2023

French Open doubles disqualification drama continues as players left ‘scared’

Sara Sorribes Tormo has had her say on the drama that unfolded at the French Open on Sunday, resulting in her doubles opponents Miyu Kato and Aldila Sutjiadi being disqualified. 

Sorribes Tormo was partnered alongside Marie Bouzkova and at 7-6(1) 1-3 up on their Asian opponents the match was called to a halt, after Kato ‘unintentionally’ hit the ball girl when passing the ball back to the other side.

The umpire originally gave Kato and Sutjiadi a warning, however after seeing that the ball girl was crying it appeared that Sorribes Tormo and Bouzkova demanded that their opponents were disqualified.

The umpire then changed his decision and disqualified them for this incident, to which Kato was distraught and broke down in tears.

This was met with backlash from throughout the tennis world, with Kato and Sutjiadi receiving a lot of support from players including Alize Cornet who thought it was unfair.

Kato herself took to social media to apologise for the incident, revealing that she would lose all of her prize money and ranking points.

“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,” explained Kato. “As a result, I am penalized by RG [Roland Garros] by forfeiting my prize money & points. I appreciate all your continued support!”

The WTA doubles No.31 also spoke of the physical impact it has had on her, “I haven’t been able to swallow much since yesterday. I can’t say more than apologising. I expect a fine or exemplary penalty. I’ll face my responsibilities. I’m grateful the crowd didn’t boo me when I walked off court.”


Following her defeat in singles, Sorribes Tormo explained her side of the story, “First of all, it’s a very bad situation that happened yesterday. Also, for Marie and for me it’s tough to have all this kind of things that people are saying. It’s not easy because the only thing we’ve done yesterday was going to the referee and explain him what happened.”

The Spaniard continued, “So, first of all, we were saying that the ball kid was crying because we were scared, because we were, oh, something happened. Then we were saying that the ball was direct because he didn’t saw the ball.

“All the rest the decision was taken by the supervisor, and I think it’s not our thing or we haven’t done anything bad. Yeah, that’s the only thing I’m going to say about this, what happened yesterday.”

However, Kato claims that Sorribes Tormo and Bouzkova were faced away from the situation and tried to ‘escalate the situation’, “I don’t know why my opponents, who had their backs to the fence, testified that she had been hit in the head & was bleeding. I don’t understand the attitude of our opponents to escalate the situation.”

Bouzkova and Sorribes Tormo lost their subsequent match, and Kato has reached the final of the French Open mixed doubles tournament alongside Tim Puetz after beating partner Sutjiadi and Matwe Middelkoop in the semi-final.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.