The Professional Tennis Players Association released a statement Tuesday declaring the decision to default Japan's Miyu Kato and Indonesia's Aldila Sutjadi during a French Open women's doubles match was "unjustifiably disproportionate and unfair."

The pair were handed a default during Sunday's third-round match at Roland Garros after a ball Kato casually hit to the opposite end of the court between points struck a ball girl, leaving her in tears. Kato on Monday lodged an appeal to the Grand Slam board.

Japanese tennis player Miyu Kato (R) appears in shock as her Indonesian partner Aldila Sutjiadi wraps an arm around her shoulders, after the pair were disqualified in a women's doubles third round match at the French Open tennis tournament in Paris on June 4, 2023. The pair were forced to forfeit the match after Kato accidentally hit a ball girl with a ball between points. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

"It is evident that the incident was accidental and not at all aggressive in nature," the statement read. "This should not have led to a code violation and subsequent defaulting. The incident and its aftermath underscore a fundamental principle of the PTPA: the demand for fair resolutions."

Kato on Monday said she asked for footage to be checked at the time of the incident but the request was declined by a supervisor on the court, and was later told she had just been "unlucky."

Kato added she was initially given only a warning by the umpire before protests by the opposing pair, Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic and Spain's Sara Sorribes Tormo, prompted the change in decision.

"The PTPA advocates for proper mechanisms that give players a voice and address their concerns. Here, that means restoring Miyu's and Aldila's prize money and rankings points, at the very least," the statement said.

"Severe penalties for unintentional actions undermine the sport's integrity and harm players' careers."

The PTPA expressed "unwavering solidarity with all players who have faced unjust treatment."

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