Terence Atmane apologizes for hitting fan with ball at French Open

League: Tennis

Posted on: 28 May, 2024 at 02:44 PM

Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

Terence Atmane apologized via social media Tuesday for hitting a spectator with a tennis ball at the French Open.

On Sunday, Atmane vented his frustration after his return went long against Austrian Sebastian Ofner in a first-round match by striking a forehand shot into the stands. That ball accidentally hit the female spectator in the leg.

Ofner immediately asked for the Frenchman to be disqualified, however the umpire and a supervisor spoke with the fan -- who said she was fine -- and discussed the situation before opting to issue a warning for unsportsmanlike conduct.

"This gesture ... was not intentional, so please forgive me for my emotional outburst and, above all, I'd like to apologize personally to the lady I'm currently looking for with my agent and the tournament organizers, so that I can tell her straight to her face and offer her one of my signed rackets (if she accepts the offer, of course)," Atmane said Tuesday on Instagram.

Atmane, 22, said a broken string led to the ball flying into the stands.

"For me, it was a bit surprising, because if you do something like that on a small court, you have to be punished, you know?" Ofner said Sunday following his 3-6, 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-2, 7-5 victory.

"Because it's not like you hit the ball normally. It was full power. The ball was so fast. Straight in the crowd. There were people disqualified for less."

--Field Level Media