Tuesday, July 5, 2022

2022 French Open: Irina-Camelia Begu fined $10K for throwing racket that nearly hit child in stands

The child, who Begu took pictures with after her match, broke into tears after the racket flew by him

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Irina-Camelia Begu received a $10,000 fine from the French Tennis Federation on Friday for an incident that occurred during her second-round matchup in the French Open. In a moment of frustration, Begu walked toward her bench and threw her racket. The Romanian player had just dropped her serve in the third set against Ekaterina Alexandrova.

The racket bounced into the crowd and nearly hit a child, who was visibly shaken and crying. A brief pause in the match followed, and Begu was given a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Alexandrova was visibly upset that Begu did not get defaulted for her actions. In her own frustration over the chair umpire’s decision, she hit a ball over the stands during the next changeover, yelling, “So, I can do that, too?”  

Begu went on to win the match 6-7 (3), 6-3, 6-4.

Alexandrova, who received a code violation for yelling at the chair umpire, continued expressing herself on social media after the match.

“So disappointed to leave RG like that, I was trying to do my best, but seems like the rules were against me today,” she wrote on Instagram. “This shouldn’t be happening. I hope after today’s match rules will be improved for everyone’s safety. We are responsible for our racket.”

The parents of the child later confirmed he was not injured. Begu approached the young boy right after the incident happened, and she returned to take photos with him after her win.

During her post-match press conference, Begu said she did not expect the racket to bounce toward the fans and felt regret for what happened.

“It’s an embarrassing moment for me, so I don’t want to talk too much about it. I just want to apologize,” she said. “My whole career I didn’t do something like this, and I feel really bad and sorry.”

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