Young boy in tears after racket thrown in anger bounces into crowd

Young boy left in tears after racket thrown in anger by Irina-Camelia Begu bounces into the crowd and nearly hits him at French Open… leaving opponent Ekaterina Alexandrova left fuming at umpire’s failure to disqualify rival

  • Irina-Camelia Begu was lucky not to be disqualified at the French Open
  • She threw her racket down in frustration and it bounced into the crowd
  • Outburst startled a young boy and the match was held up for five minutes
  • Opponent Ekaterina Alexandrova was furious Degu only received a warning
  • Romanian player Irina-Camelia Begu was lucky not to be disqualified from the French Open on Thursday after she threw her racket and it bounced into the crowd, reducing a young spectator to tears.

    The 31-year-old was trailing Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova 2-0 in the deciding set when she flicked her racket on to the clay in frustration. 

    It rebounded into the stands and flew towards a boy, not actually hitting him but startling him to such an extent that he was audibly sobbing.

    Romanian player Irina-Camelia Begu was lucky not to be disqualified from the French Open

    Romanian player Irina-Camelia Begu was lucky not to be disqualified from the French Open

    The boy was startled after Begu threw her racket down in anger and it bounced into the crowd

    The boy was startled after Begu threw her racket down in anger and it bounced into the crowd

    The child was audibly sobbing and the second round match was held up for five minutes

    The child was audibly sobbing and the second round match was held up for five minutes 

    The match was held up for five minutes while the tournament supervisor was called to the court and conferred with the umpire. 

    They surprisingly decided the world No 63 would receive only a code violation and a warning, rather than being defaulted from the match like Novak Djokovic was at the 2020 US Open, when he hit a line judge with a ball.

    Begu gave the boy a hug and posed for a photo with him after the match, and later said: ‘It’s an embarrassing moment for me. I want to apologize. My whole career I didn’t do something like this, and I feel really bad and sorry.’ 

    Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova was thrown off her stride by the controversy in the final set

    Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova was thrown off her stride by the controversy in the final set

    Alexandrova contested the decision, whacked a ball out of the court in anger and looked to have been thrown off her stride as Begu won six of the next eight games to go through 6-7, 6-3, 6-4.

    The beaten 30th seed wrote on Instagram: ‘Seems like the rules were against me. This shouldn’t be happening. We are responsible for our racket.’

    Just three days ago, Russian world No 7 Andrey Rublev came within an inch of certain disqualification when he smashed a ball into a chair and it rebounded towards a groundsman, coming so close to him it knocked off his cap.