Tennis is not exactly the most volatile sport there is. In fact, one hardly expects an altercation when the two opponents aren’t even within a striking distance of one another. But those expectations were thwarted yesterday when a tennis player opted to slap his opponent.
But unfortunately for the Ghanaian tennis player Raphael Nii Ankrah, a slap is what he received after beating the French favorite Michael Kouame during the TGF ITF Juniors World Tour in Accra, Ghana.
Kouame, who was the number 1 seed going into the tournament, was beaten by the home favorite Ankrah in three sets (6-2, 6-7, 7-6) in the first round.
After the match, Kouame approached the victor Ankrah in the center court, seemingly to shake his hand, and slapped Ankrah in the face.
The out-of-the-blue slap shocked the audience at the Accra Sports Stadium.
The result was a bit hectic. Several angry spectators then entered the court to try and chase Kouame.
Security guards appeared to hold the crowds back from getting to the 15-year-old athlete.
While the chaotic scene ensued, Kouame was seen running away from the court while still holding his racket.
The footage was initially shared by the Functional Tennis podcast via Instagram story. They later decided to remove the clip.
But before it’s gone for good, a tennis coach in Ghana obtained the clip and re-shared it on Twitter.
Prior to the matchup, Kouame was ranked No. 589 on the ITF Junior rankings, while Ankrah was ranked No. 1688. But with the win, it’s most likely the rankings will change soon.
Ankrah now advances to the second round of the tournament and faces fellow Ghanaian Ishmael Nii Nortey Dowuona.
He also going to return to the court on Tuesday for a doubles match against Italy’s Davide Brunetti and France’s Mickael Kaouk.
While it is still unclear what led Kouame to slap Ankrah in the court, it is a probability that he watched too much Diaz bros fight before the match.