Nicolas Mahut could be fined for accidentally hitting ball girl with practice serve

TENNIS-GBR-ATP-QUEENS

French professional tennis star Nicolas Mahut may have to part with a heavy amount of money in the coming days after hitting a ball girl during the Fever-Tree Championship match against Stan Wawrinka at Queen’s.

The accident happened when Mahut was trailing 3-1 in the opening set and decided to launch a warm-up serve which later became the highlight of the contest.

Being broken by his Swiss counterpart during the second-round match on Centre Court, the 37-year-old qualifier served a wayward ball which headed towards the face of the ball girl.

She was completely unaware of the drastic turn of events as she was busy leaning over to collect some balls.

The serve struck her face, catching her by surprise, but, although she carried on momentarily, the young girl later left the court in tears.

Wawrinka was seen consoling the ball girl right after the accident.

The chair umpire sanctioned Mahut with a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct, but that did not hinder in the Frenchman’s quest to register the victory.

The final scoreline read 3-6, 7-5, 7-6.

The ATP will, however, decide on whether the world number 191 will have to serve further punishment for his actions, with maximum probability being handed a fine.

BBC TV commentator John Lloyd gave his insights on the issue, stating the umpire could have handled the matter more maturely.

He said: “It was a complete accident. A calm little word without the microphone would have been enough.

“I don’t think you really need to give a warning for that. You just have a little chat and say: ‘Be a bit careful.’ I hope he doesn’t get a fine.”

Although, this was not the first time a ball girl got injured during a Nicolas Mahut match.

During his first match against American Frances Tiafoe, Mahut slipped over while chasing a backhand and crashed into one girl, who got hurt by the collision.

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