After a tennis match in the first round of an International Tennis Federation junior tournament in Accra, Ghana on Monday, the losing player appeared to slap his opponent.
According to Jenna Lemoncelli of the New York Post, 15-year-old Frenchman Michael Kouame met Ghanaian Raphael Nii Ankrah on center court for a handshake where he slapped him.
Several people then seemed to get involved and a fight ensued.
The incident happened shortly after the ATP announced that there would be tougher penalties for on-court misconduct. However, the ATP does not oversee Kouame or Ankrah or the tournament where the slap occurred.
“Effective immediately and as we head into the swing, the ATP Arbitration Team has been instructed to take a tougher stance in judging Code of Conduct violations”, ATP President Andrea Gaudenzi said in an email on Monday. “In addition, we are also undertaking a review of the Code, as well as disciplinary processes, to ensure that it provides appropriate and up-to-date sanctions for serious violations and repeat offenders. »
Kouame, who is ranked No. 589 in the ITF Junior Rankings, was the No. 1 seed in the tournament but lost to Ankrah in straight sets 6-2, 6-7, 7-6. Kouame’s actions have not gone unpunished. According to GhanaWeb, the tournament disciplinary committee disqualified him from the J5 and JR tournaments of the World Tennis Tour.
Ankrah, 16, ranked No. 1688 in the ITF Junior Rankings, has qualified to face Ghanaian Ishmael Nii Nortey Dowuona in the second round. He also took part in a doubles match against Italian Davide Brunetti and Frenchman Mickael Kaouk on Tuesday.