Ballache: US star Sandgren disqualified for striking judge’s backside – moments after player got ‘hit in the nuts’ (VIDEO)
Sandgren was taking on compatriot Christopher Eubanks at the hardcourt event in Cary, but it was a shortlived appearance for the tournament’s top seed.
Preparing to serve in the second game of the opening set, Sandgren copped a ball to the nether regions when an over-enthusiastic ball boy added a bit too much power to his throw.
After flinching at the impact, an angry Sandgren lashed out with a wild swing of his racket, sending a ball into a nearby fence, from where it ricocheted and hit a line judge on the backside.
After some deliberation, the 30-year-old Sandgren was defaulted from the match.
So tonight I got hit in the nuts by a ball kid toss with a little too much mustard, slapped the wayward ball into the fence, which collided with a refs tushy as he was walking to the other side, resulting in a default. How’s your evening going? 😂 pic.twitter.com/Tqe7lOkCLy— Tennys Sandgren (@TennysSandgren) September 15, 2021
“So tonight I got hit in the nuts by a ball kid toss with a little too much mustard, slapped the wayward ball into the fence, which collided with a refs tushy as he was walking to the other side, resulting in a default," said the US star on Twitter, sharing the footage (although the moment of the ball hitting the judge wasn’t captured).
"How’s your evening going?”
“And just to be clear, this was all totally my fault,” added the world number 103.
The incident brought to mind the higher-profile disqualification handed to Novak Djokovic at the 2020 US Open for a petulant swing which sent a ball into a female line judge’s throat.
"Only option now is doubles with Novak at Wimbledon, let's go!" joked one fan in reply to Sandgren.
"That is why they call them 'ball kids'," jested another.
Some were frustrated that they couldn't actually see the moment of impact with the line judge, but there were images of the supposed aftermath.
We don't see the ball, we see the "pain"... pic.twitter.com/Si3MRQsln9— Miguel Figueres (@Miguel_Figueres) September 15, 2021
Tuesday’s outburst in North Carolina handed Eubanks a walkover, and he will next face Britain’s Ryan Peniston in the round of 16.
Sandgren will still be competing in the men's doubles event at the tournament, alongside Denmark's Mikael Torpegaard.