Russian tennis player Pavel Kotov was the talk of the tennis world Sunday, but not for his five-set victory over Arthur Rinderknech.
During one part of his first-round Australian Open match, as Kotov appeared upset with how the contest was going, he erupted on the court, according to the New York Post.
The Russian whacked a tennis ball against the wall behind him.
The tantrum stunned a ball girl who is shown on video at first appearing to be frozen by what was happening before she turned her face away in fear.
The ball struck the wall several feet away from the ball girl.
Kotov did not appear to notice the ball girl cowering in fear.
Video of the incident was soon everywhere, including the Wide World of Sports in Australia Instagram page. Fans on the page reacted to the tantrum.
— Scottish Sun Sport (@scotsunsport) January 14, 2024
“So where is the disciplinary action by match referee and tournament referee. He should have lost points and been fined plus had to publicly apologise. The standard you walk by is the one you accept. AO take action now!!!!!” one poster using the name susanweston5 wrote.
“As a parent of a ballkid I find it absolutely disgusting that he was not disqualified from the AO,’ one fan wrote on Instagram. ‘The ballkids are all volunteers and do not deserve to feel scared or threatened whilst they are on duty,” poster bellview_2021 wrote.
“Next time the poor ball girl has to give him back a ball … she should politely walk up and smash him in the face with her fist … sorry the ball,” poster adamson.g wrote.
Kick him out the competition!!
Tennis star’s act of disgrace leaves ball girl cowering in terror with fans ‘disgusted’ he avoided Australian Open DQhttps://t.co/M7pepXrv8N
— Jamer of the Dave variety… (@DaveJames1664) January 14, 2024
The Post report said that if the girl was struck, Kotov could have been disqualified.
The victory advanced Kotov to the second round in the tournament.
“Hopefully, he’ll do a better job of managing his emotions moving forward in the tournament,” Andrew Holleran wrote on TheSpun.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.