French Open: Irina-Camelia Begu issues apology after thrown racquet hits child

·2-min read

Irina-Camelia Begu issued an apology after a racquet she threw into the ground bounced into the crowd and struck a child at the French Open.

The Romanian was playing in a second-round match against Ekaterina Alexandrova and was down a break in the third set when the incident happened.

The match was suspended as the young boy, who was sitting near the umpire's chair, was left in tears and being comforted by his parents.

Begu was issued a warning but avoided a default and went on to win the match 6-7 (3-7) 6-3 6-4.

She later posed for pictures with the boy and said sorry for her moment of frustration at a post-match news conference.

"Well, it's an embarrassing moment for me, so I don't want to talk too much about it. I just want to apologise," she said.

"My whole career I didn't do something like this, and I feel really bad and sorry. So I'm just going to say again, sorry for the incident and it was just an embarrassing moment for me.

"It was a difficult moment because I didn't want to hit that racquet. You hit the clay with the racquet, but you never expect [it] to fly that much."

A statement circulated by the French Tennis Federation from tournament referee Remy Azemar said: "The grand slam supervisor spoke with the parents who were with the child. The parents confirmed that the child was fine and not injured."

It said the racquet had "brushed a young spectator".

The incident was reminiscent of the 2020 US Open when men's world number one Novak Djokovic was defaulted when a ball he struck in anger hit a line judge.

Begu faces local favourite Leolia Jeanjean in round three.

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