Miyu Kato
Miyu Kato in mixed doubles action at the 2023 French Open. Miyu Kato/Twitter


  • Miyu Kato and Aldila Sutjiadi was disqualified after the former inadvertently hit a ball girl
  • Tim Henman did not see any malicious intent in Kato's incident
  • Kato and mixed doubles partner Tim Putz are in the semifinals of the 2023 French Open

The 2023 French Open is entering its final phases as the tournament closes on Sunday, June 11, but it has not been without controversy thus far.

Former British No. 1 player Tim Henman had something to say about the events that unfolded in one of the women's doubles matches.

The third-round matchup between the duo of Miyu Kato and Aldila Sutjiadi and the team of Marie Bouzkova and partner Sara Sorribes Tormo made headlines as the former was disqualified because Kato accidentally struck a ball, hitting a ball girl and leaving her crying.

Henman, serving as an analyst on Eurosport, bared his thoughts on the matter.

"It's one of those ones where you have to take responsibility when you are hitting the ball around the court, even if it's passing it to the other end. I think for me, she's just flicking the backhand there. It's careless. I don't think there's any sort of malicious intent," the 48-year-old noted.

"But when she's hit the ball, it's then gone into the ball girl and the ball girl was, very obviously, very upset and distressed by that. Then it just puts the umpire, supervisor and referee in a difficult position."

Ironically enough, Henman and doubles partner Jeremy Bates became the first pair to be disqualified at Wimbledon after the Oxford, England-born tennis star hit a ball girl on the side of the head in 1995.

As Henman later noted, current Grand Slam supervisor and former umpire Wayne McKewen was present for both incidents and jokingly told him on the broadcast that he is "still disqualifying people from Grand Slams for hitting ball kids."

In a closer breakdown by the Tennis Channel of what transpired, Bouzkova and Tormo approached the chair umpire immediately to call for a default of the match in their favor noting that the ball girl was crying from the hit.

Tennis forums were up in arms about the disqualification as not only did the result cause them to bow out of the competition but also forced them to forfeit any ranking points and money they have earned thus far into the tournament.

It is a devastating result for Kato and Sutjiadi as both women are doubles specialists, ranked No. 31 and No. 32 in the world respectively.

Outside of Henman and Kato's incidents, stars such as Novak Djokovic in the 2020 U.S. Open and Stefan Koubek in the 2000 French Open were also disqualified for similar happenings.

Kato would find redemption soon enough on Monday, June 5 as she and mixed doubles partner Tim Putz entered the semifinals of that event after a two-set victory against Brazil's Luisa Stefani and Rafael Matos.

Should Sutjiadi and mixed doubles partner Matwe Middelkoop win over Chan Hao-ching and Fabrice Martin in their matchup, they will get to face Kato and Putz for the right to book a spot in the event's finals.

Miyu Kato, Tim Putz
Japan's Miyu Kato (left) and Germany's Tim Putz (right) advanced to the semifinals of the mixed doubles event of the 2023 French Open. Miyu Kato/Twitter