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By Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Monday, June 5, 2023

Miyu Kato has apologized for unintentionally hitting a ball girl.

Aldila Sutjiadi and Kato were disqualified from Roland Garros doubles Sunday after Kato hit a ball that struck a ball girl.

More: Ball Girl Struck, Sparking Controversial Doubles Default

In an apology she posted on social media, Kato apologized to the ball girl, who was reduced to tears by the shot, her partner Sutjiadi and tennis fans. Kato noted the default results in her forfeiting all prize money and ranking points she earned in doubles. 

"I would like to sincerely apologize to the Ball Girl, my partner Aldila Sutjiadi and team and my supporters for today's unfortunate mishap," Kato said. "It was completely unintentional. As a result, I have been penalized by Roland Garros by forfeiting my prize money and points. I apprecaite all your continued support!"

The default sparked debate in the tennis world as some suggest opponents Sara Sorribes Tormo and Marie Bouzkova urged the umpire, who initially issued a warning, and later the supervisor into upgrading the penalty to a default by asserting "She is crying!" and pointing to the shaken ball girl.

There was no malice in Kato's strike and, unlike Novak Djokovic's 2020 US Open disqualification when he accidentally hit a lineswoman in the throat with a ball, the ball girl saw the ball coming.

In Djokovic's default case, the lineswoman did not see the strike coming as she was behind the action. In this case, Kato was hitting the ball directly toward the ball girl who saw the shot coming.

However, the ball girls hands were full when the ball arrived, she was unable to duck the ball, was struck in the shoulder and began crying.

Initially, the chair umpire issued a warning.

On the opposite side of the net, Bouzkova and Sorribes Tormo argued that penalty was not sufficient given the shaken ball girls tears that continued flowing.

During the ensuing delay, the tournament supervisor was called onto the court where Bouzkova and Sorribes Tormo stated their case that the ball girl was hit and crying.

After a consultation, the supervisor defaulted Kato and Sutjiadi.