Czech tennis star, 16, says bizarre celebrations where her father and her coach grabbed her backside at the US Open ‘won’t happen again’ after outrage – but defends them by saying such shows of affection are NORMAL in her country
- A video of the incident sparked conversation and concern across the internet
- But Sara Bejlek says this wouldn’t be an incident back in the Czech Republic
- After discussions, she said that kind of celebration wouldn’t be repeated
- Bejlek qualified for her first tennis major, falling in the first round in straight sets
The world of tennis had a visceral reaction after videos circulated across social media following a win to qualify for the US Open.
Sixteen-year-old Czech tennis player Sara Bejlek qualified for her first Grand Slam tournament by defeating a number of opponents, including the UK’s Heather Watson.
After that Watson victory, cameras caught two men – identified as Bejlek’s father and coach celebrating with her.
As the cameras lingered, both men were seen patting her on the backside with her father seemingly kissing her on the mouth.
After win, Sara Bejlek celebrated with her father Jaroslav, who appeared to pat her backside
Viewers were then outraged as the father then appeared to kiss his daughter on the lips
After celebrating with her father, the young tennis star then moved along the line to her coach
Coach Jakub Kahoun also grabbed her backside as the pair embraced following the win
While social media made calls for the WTA to investigate the incident, Bejlek shared her thoughts on the incident.
‘Of course I saw the video. It was a spontaneous reaction of the whole team. We rejoiced,’ Bejlek said to reporters.
‘It may certainly seem inconvenient and uncomfortable to some, but we have already discussed it with the team. It won’t happen again.’
The 16-year-old is pictured alongside her father (right) and coach (bottom) on Instagram
While that incident occurred during her first qualifying match, it gained traction just before she took on the world No. 35 player Liudmila Samsonova of Russia. She lost that match in straight sets 6-3, 6-1.
Before that match, she responded to concerns and criticisms of the two men pictured.
‘Dad is my dad and always will be. And I’ve known the coach since I was eight years old. He tapes me, he massages me,’ she added.
‘If something similar happened in the Czech Republic, no one would deal with it. But since we are in America, everyone comments on it. But as I say, we talked and it won’t happen again.’
Bejlek made her US Open debut on Monday against Russian Ludmilla Samsanova
After her qualifying win, 16-year-old Bejlek posted a picture alongside her father on Instagram