Tennis player forced to forfeit match after hitting line judge with ball

By Evan Hilbert |

Russian tennis player Olga Puchkova was defaulted from her match Thursday at the Citi Open after hitting a line judge with the ball in frustration.

Puchkova contends that the result occurred accidentally, but match officials said that intent doesn't matter.

"I 100 percent believe her that that's true — that she didn't mean to do it. She wasn't even looking in that direction. ... She was just hitting the ball in frustration after she lost a point," WTA supervisor Melanie Tabb told the Associated Press.

"It's not just the intention [that matters]," Tabb went on to say. "It's the result of her action. And she did hit the line [judge]. And he was bruised on his knee from the ball, because it was hit very hard."

Puchkova, the 88th-ranked player in the world, was trailing 4-1 in the decisive third set to Paula Ormaechea in their second round match. After losing a point, Puchkova angrily struck the ball, hitting the line judge.

"I wasn't looking where the tennis ball would go," Puchkova said, adding that she was sincerely sorry for "accidentally" hitting the official.

Puchkova defeated American Sloane Stephens 7-5, 6-3 in the first round Monday.

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