Irina-Camelia Begu on Friday was fined $10,000 by the French Tennis Federation after she threw her racket and it bounced off the clay and into the stands during a match at the French Open on Thursday.
Begu, a 31-year-old Romanian who is ranked 63rd, was cited for unsportsmanlike conduct during the third set of her victory against 30th-seeded Ekaterina Alexandrova in the second round at Court 13.
After dropping a point, Begu walked to the sideline and chucked her racket, which flew behind chair umpire Anis Ressaissi’s seat, landing among spectators sitting courtside. There were gasps from fans and a child could be heard crying.
Tournament referee Remy Azemar said the equipment “brushed a young spectator,” who “turned out to be OK.” Begu apologized for the incident and took pictures with the child after the match.
Alexandrova, who purposely hit a tennis ball over the stands during the next changeover in protest for Begu not being given a stiffer penalty, ended up losing the match and called for a change in the rules of tennis to discourage this from happening again.
“So I can do that too?” Alexandrova shouted at the umpire after hitting the ball. She, too, was given a code violation.
Begu, the world No. 63, will face France’s Leolia Jeanjean in the third round at Roland Garros.
ESPN’s Tom Hamilton and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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