Susanne Celik’s match against Cici Bellis at the ITF tournament in Surprise, Arizona ended bizarrely.
A few games into the third set, the Swedish #3 was disqualified because she hit a ball that hit a line judge.
This is how Celik explains the event: “I just wanted to hit the balls over to her after the 2-1 game and I framed one of the balls at the same time as I turned around to pick up my towel. I had no idea what was going on. Then they said the ball hit a line judge on the next court where they were playing doubles.”
“It was pure bad luck—everyone who knows me knows it.”
On social media, there were rumours that Celik had hit the ball at a line judge out of sheer frustration.
“Even if I tried, I wouldn’t be able to hit a line judge on the other court just like that. It was a mishap and those who know me know it. I would never take out my anger at a line judge. Good God.”
“The ball bounced and then went up to him. He didn’t even get hurt,” says Celik.
How are you doing?
“It’s not great—that’s what I can say. An entirely wrong story has come out about me, that I hit a ball towards an umpire, which is just sick. It’s just sad and I’m very sad about this, too, obviously.”
Her opponent, Cici Bellis, celebrated: “The most unsportsmanlike thing I’ve seen.”
The umpire called in the tournament referee who immediately disqualified the Swede.
“After the supervisor came in, he took about 20 seconds to decide, without listening to my side, and said ‘The match is over; I’m not going to discuss it.'”
Her opponent’s reaction shocked Celik.
“Bellis screamed in joy with both hands up to the sky—some of the most unsportsmanlike conduct I’ve seen in my entire life.”
“Bellis herself fired a ball without any bouncing that hit a line judge on our court just 5 games earlier, and she only got a warning. It’s just incredibly unfair. I don’t understand anything.”
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