Japanese tennis player Miyu Kato has been in the headlines in recent weeks as she and her partner Aldila Sutjiadi were disqualified after injuring a ball girl by mistake. The unfortunate incident happened during her and Aldila Sutjiadi’s third-round match against the pair of Marie Bouzkova and Sara Sorribes Tormo. The disqualification was deemed unfair by many fans but Kato made a heartwarming gesture as she met up with the ball girl days after this incident.
The tennis player’s shot had left the ball girl crying on the court after the ball hit her neck when she was returning to position. After the incident, the referee issued a warning to the pair but after Tormo and Bouzkova pointed out that the girl was crying, Grand Slam supervisor Wayne McEwen looked into it and the pair of Kato and Sutjiadi defaulted the match.
Kato shared a photo along with her best wishes for the ball girl as she tweeted, “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!”
Kato forfeited all of her 21,500 euros (about $23,000) in prize money and rankings points from women’s doubles after the incident. The Japanese player hasn’t let the disqualification bring her down as she came back with a mixed doubles win. She and her doubles pair Tim Putz won against the pair of Bianca Andreescu and Michael Venus 4-6,6-4,10-6 to lift the mixed doubles 2023 French Open title.