French tennis player sanctioned after serve hits ballgirl in the face

Nicolas Mahut at Queens Club in London. (Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images for LTA)

Nicolas Mahut is facing the prospect of a fine at Queen’s after an errant serve struck a ball girl in the face and left her in tears.

The Frenchman was battling Stan Wawrinka on Thursday when the nasty incident occurred, after Mahut hit a practice serve after losing a game.

Annoyed that he’d lost his serve, Mahut decided to practice what he should have done and hit another serve that no one was expecting.

The ball girl at the back of the court took her eyes off the players in order to receive some balls being transferred to her from another ball girl.

That resulted in Mahut’s serve hitting her in the side of the face.

After initially carrying on with her duties, the young girl burst into tears.

Wawrinka attempted to comfort her as she made her way off the court, and Mahut was issued with a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct.

That decision sparked controversy, with fans and commentators fuming that Mahut had been punished for the accident.

BBC commentator and former British player John Lloyd said: “He didn’t mean it. It was a complete accident. A calm little word without the microphone would have been enough.”

“I don’t think you really don’t 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.”

However the fact remains that Mahut hit out in frustration when he shouldn’t have.

The Frenchman went on to stun Wawrinka 3-6 7-5 7-6(2).