During the second set of her encounter with Ekaterina Alexandrova, the Romanian threw her racket onto the clay in frustration, only for it to bounce up and fly towards spectators. The racket hit a young child, who then started crying according to observers.
Begu was fortunate not to be defaulted and eventually went on to win the match. Afterwards, she checked on the child and posed for photographs.
Begu ‘embarrassed’ at the incident
The world number 56 has now apologised for her actions and stressed how much she regretted what happened.
“It’s an embarrassing moment for me, so I don’t want to talk too much about it. I just want to apologise,” she said.
“My whole career, I didn’t do something like this, and I feel really bad and sorry. So I’m just going to say again, sorry for the incident.”
Begu fined for behaviour
As punishment for throwing her racket, Begu has been fined $10,000 (£8,000).
This is the biggest fine any player has faced in the tournament so far. Russia’s Andrey Rublev was fined $8,000 (£6,300) for nearly hitting a groundskeeper with a ball that he launched in anger.
However, Begu’s fine is still not as high as the one Naomi Osaka received last year for skipping a news conference. The Japanese star was fined $15,000 (£12,000), prompting the four-time major winner to withdraw from the tournament.
Should Begu have been defaulted?
While Begu was not defaulted, her opponent Alexandrova has urged tennis officials to stop this sort of behaviour and said she was “disappointed” to exit the competition in such a manner.
“So disappointed to leave Roland Garros like that,” she emphasised. “I was trying to do my best, but seems like the rules were against me today,” she wrote on Instagram.
“This shouldn’t be happening. I hope after today’s match, rules will be improved for everyone’s safety. We are responsible for our racquet.”
#RolandGarros fines news:— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) May 27, 2022
Fines leader, as expected, is Irina-Camelia Begu, who was fined $10,000 for throwing her racquet and hitting a child in the stands.
Second place is Andrey Rublev, who was fined $8,000 for nearly hitting a groundskeeper with a ball launched in anger.
Novak Djokovic was disqualified from the US Open in 2020, when he hit a line judge with the ball.
Earlier this year, Alexander Zverev was expelled from the Mexican Open and put on probation for one year after hitting the chair umpire’s stand with his racket.
Begu is now into the fourth round of the tournament, having beaten France’s Leolia Jeanjean in straight sets.