Tennis player hit with fine for racket tantrum
Irina-Camelia Begu made a child in the crowd cry through her outburst at the French Open
Female tennis star Irina-Camelia Begu has been hit with a $10,000 fine by the French Tennis Federation for throwing her racket into the crowd at Roland Garros on Thursday.
The Romanian was booed by fans at the French Open for launching the item into the clay before it then bounced into the stands causing a young child to cry.
World number 63 Begu was losing her momentum in the third set of an eventual second round victory against Ekaterina Alexandrova on Court 13 when she also lost her head.
The racket flew behind the chair of umpire Anis Ressaissi, with tournament referee Remy Azemar saying that the equipment "brushed a young spectator" who thankfully "turned out to be OK''.
In protest at Begu being given a mere code violation, Alexandrova purposely hit a ball over the stands in the next changeover and ended up losing the match.
"So I can do that too?" the Russian shouted at the umpire after she hit the ball, in turn being given a code violation herself.
While Begu apologized to the child and later posed for photos with him, social media was unforgiving and called for the 31-year-old "witch" to be disqualified.
After getting off lightly, however, Begu lived to fight another day and will take on French star Leolia Jeanjean in a third round meeting on Saturday.
Elsewhere at the French Open, Alexandrova's compatriot Andrey Rublev has been slapped with an $8,000 fine for hitting the ball against a courtside chair after losing the first set of his first round match against Kwon Soon-woo.
As with Begu, the crowd turned on Rublev when the ball bounced off the court and then off the hat of a nearby groundsman.
Rublev, who is now through to the third round where he will face Cristian Garin, later confessed that he lost his mind "for a moment" and regretted what he did.
"It’s unacceptable to hit the way the ball I hit it," admitted Rublev, who also conceded that he had been "unprofessional" and hoped to never repeat the act.
"[It would have been] better if I just hit the racket on the seat, because the ball can affect someone," he pointed out.