Japan's Miyu Kato said Monday she has lodged an appeal to the Grand Slam board against her women's doubles default at the French Open a day earlier for accidentally hitting a ball girl with a ball.
Kato bounced back from the disappointment by reaching the mixed doubles semifinals on Monday with her German partner Tim Puetz, beating the Australian Open-winning pair of Luisa Stefani and Rafael Matos of Brazil 7-6(5), 6-2 on the same Court 14 at Roland Garros where she was buoyed by fans calling her name.
"We could play the match to the end, the opponents gave me kind words and it was a bit emotional too, having people come to me to cheer me up," said the 28-year-old after shedding a tear following the win.
"I couldn't put my mind to the mixed doubles until the warm-up this morning, couldn't eat much yesterday either. But my partner Tim really helped me, let me play feeling comfortable and I'm really grateful to him."
During Sunday's women's doubles third-round match, Kato and her Indonesian partner Aldila Sutjiadi were defaulted after a ball Kato casually hit to the opposite end of the court between points struck the ball girl and left her in tears.
Kato, who apologized to the girl on the court and also in a Twitter post Sunday, said during Monday's press conference she had asked for footage of the scene to be checked but had her request declined by a supervisor on the court, and was later told she had just been "unlucky."
Kato added she is "yet to accept the situation" after she was initially given only a warning by the referee before protests by the opposing pair, Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic and Spain's Sara Sorribes Tormo, prompted the changed decision.
"They said the girl was bleeding, I thought she isn't, but the referee came down because of their strong appeals and it got overturned," Kato said.
Kato said she had been "really encouraged" after receiving plenty of support from her fellow players via Twitter following the incident, and looks forward to her next outing.
"I have received a worldwide outpouring of positive energy, and it has raised my spirits tremendously," Kato said in her latest tweet. "Now I'm onto the mixed doubles semifinals, where I will use every bit of that positive energy to succeed."
Kato said the match had not been uploaded by the time of the press conference to an app enabling players to watch footage of every match at the tournament, and suggested organizers were trying to avoid scrutiny of the incident.
"The players here are supposed to be able to watch all the matches on an app but that match hasn't been uploaded, so I can't check it either," she said. "All I can think is they're trying to hide the fact. I want them to watch the footage, it wasn't there yet this morning."