Video: Russian Tennis Player Slammed After Meltdown Nearly Takes Out Ball Girl

The clip soon surfaced on several social media platforms, where it gained huge traction. Users called it "disgraceful moment" in tennis history.

Video: Russian Tennis Player Slammed After Meltdown Nearly Takes Out Ball Girl

Pavel Kotov smashed the ball into the back wall.

Russian tennis player Pavel Kotov was slammed by users online after a video of his meltdown on the court went viral. The 25-year-old was playing a match against Arthur Rinderknech at the Australian Open on Sunday when the "explosion" took place. Mr Kotov won the match 7-5, 6-1, 6-7 (6-8), 6-7 (5-7), 6-3 and narrowly escaped disqualification in the first round due to the incident, Fox News said in a report. After he lost a point to Rinderknech, Kotov smashed a ball into the back wall. 

The ball just missed a ball girl who winced in fear as Mr Kotov hit it. Though the ball did not land close to her, the ferocity of the hit took her by surprise and she turned away.

The clip soon surfaced on several social media platforms, where it gained huge traction. Users called it "disgraceful moment" in tennis history.

"As a parent of a ballkid I find it absolutely disgusting that he was not disqualified from the AO. The ballkids are all volunteers and do not deserve to feel scared or threatened whilst they are on duty," one person commented on Instagram.

"Poor girl, she shouldn't have to put up with that crap. Hope he gets a fine!!" said another.

Mr Kotov did not appear to notice the result of his outburst and continued with the match.

New York Post said if Mr Kotov did hit the ball girl, he could have been disqualified from the tournament.

No 1 Novak Djokovic was disqualified in 2020 when he hit a line judge in the throat as he was trying to deliver a ball to one of the ball boys.

The tennis player is from Moscow and turned pro in 2016.

Due to the Russia-Ukraine war, which has been going on since 2022, Russian and Belarusian players are not allowed to have flags listed near their names.

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