Pavel Kotov ought to be more careful when he vents.
The Russian player smashed a ball against a back fence out of frustration at the Australian Open Sunday, making a nearby ball girl take cover for fear that the projectile was coming at her.
The ball missed the attendant by a fair amount, and she quickly collected herself and resumed her position during Kotov’s five-set victory over Arthur Rinderknech. But some fans who viewed a clip of the moment, as shared by Nine’s Wide World of Sports, weren’t so forgiving.
They called for Moscow native Kotov ― 6-foot-3, nearly 200 pounds and ranked 65th in the world ― to be disqualified from the Grand Slam tournament.
Kotov would have been ejected had he actually hit the staffer, Tennis365.com noted.
A then top-seeded Novak Djokovic was disqualified from the 2020 U.S. Open after he accidentally hit a tennis ball into the throat of a lines judge in a fit of disgust.
Kotov will face Flavio Cobolli of Italy in the second round.