I sent an e-mail to Mieu right after she was disqualified to cheer her up. I know it must be tough, but people all over the world are cheering for you. Everyone is on your side, so don’t worry. I wasn’t worried because she has a strong core.
This is how Takahiro Nonaka, coach at Public Tennis Takaragaike (Sakyo-ku, Kyoto), where Miu Kato, 28, won the mixed doubles title at the French Open, one of the world’s four major tennis tournaments, on June 8.
It was a dramatic victory.
In the third round of the women’s doubles tournament on June 4, Kato hit a ball toward the opponent’s court that hit the ball girl. The opposing pair protested insistently, and Kato was disqualified for dangerous behavior. Kato, sobbing, immediately apologized to the ball girls and fans on her SNS. He stressed that it was unintentional.
I think I’ll go home now.
Four days after her disappointing disqualification, she reached the mixed doubles final. The German pair of Tim Putz and Kato played a hard-fought match tiebreaker.
Tim Putz and Kato of Germany played a hard-fought match tie-breaker! Katoh!”
The crowd cheered loudly. The yell pushed Kato and Putz, who had lost the first set, to come from behind to win their first major four-match tournament title. Kato, who had been feeling down, said, “I think I’ll go home now. At the awards ceremony on the center court, Kato read from a speech he had prepared, saying, “My English is not very good.
It has been challenging up to this point. It has been mentally challenging as well. I received positive strength from everyone and was able to do my best.”
Toward the end of the speech, he was moved to tears. Coach Nonaka, his former mentor, said, “Immediately after winning the championship, [I] congratulated you.
Immediately after winning the championship, I sent a congratulatory e-mail to him, saying, ‘Congratulations. The reply was typical of the caring Miyu. I asked her if she was okay with the fact that Coach Nonaka would be busy with interviews. She is a girl who can make the most of adversity.
Kato also showed consideration for her opponent in the women’s doubles, who had disqualified her after persistent protests, by saying in her victory interview: “Let’s play a good match again somewhere else.
Let’s play a good match again somewhere. I want to tell them that.
The audience applauded loudly for a while.
PHOTO： REX/Afro Afro Sports Kyodo News Jiji Press