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16-year-old tennis player's celebrations with father spark uproar

Max Sherry

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16-year-old tennis player's celebrations with father spark uproar

Featured Image Credit: Twitter/TheBoiledEgg

A father's celebrations with his 16-year-old daughter at the US Open has sent social media into a frenzy.

Teenage tennis player Sara Bejlek had just qualified for her first ever grand slam after winning in the qualifying rounds at the prestigious American tournament.

Czech star Bejlek produced a brilliant display in her come-form-behind victory over Heather Watson, but it seems her post-match celebrations is what viewers are talking most.

After shaking hands with opponent and the chair umpire, the world No.194 was seen on Amazon Prime's live TV broadcast immediately making her way over to a man in the crowd.

That man, who has now been identified as Bejlek's father, was clearly ecstatic with the result and gave his daughter a big hug.

But during their embrace, the dad appeared to give Bejlek a pat on the backside multiple times before kissing her on the mouth.

Given their relation, some didn't bat an eye, although it appears their celebratory embrace didn't sit well with a large portion of viewers.

One fan tweeted: "There's absolutely no reason to touch a 16yo girl on her butt like that. It's beyond inappropriate. As the video progressed it got worse and worse. And that's not because I see her as "sexual object" or am projecting as some in comments and quotes are alluding."

While another added: "The WTA needs to look into these especially since these young girls are traveling w men from a very young age. also y'all can say its the dad or wtv but does your dad touch your bum like that."

As a third said: "'Creepy' is one way to describe it, but 'criminal' is more accurate. (And those who think it’s not so bad because it’s her father? That’s just as disturbing.) Needs to be reported."


Meanwhile, some people argued that Bejlek was hugging her dad and it was therefore just a friendly embrace.

Footage of the incident has now gone viral online, racking up almost 200,000 views on one tweet alone.

As for Bejlek herself, she'll be preparing to make her US Open debut against Ludmilla Samsanova.

Bejlek's fellow compatriot and grand slam champion Barbora Krejcikova has spoken very highly of the teenager.

“I see big potential and I think Sara has a big future ahead of her,” Krejcikova said.

“She is a really, really good player and is doing really well at ITF World Tennis Tour events. For me, it is good that I can practice with her on a good level and for her I hope it is good that she has the chance to practice with me.

“Sara really is on the right path and has a nice team, who are doing everything to make her better every single day, and I would just tell her to keep going, keep doing her best every day and keep believing in herself.”

Topics: Australia, Tennis, US Open

Max Sherry
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