A player on a junior tennis tour smacked his opponent in the face after a loss, resulting in a heated courtside brawl

A player on a junior tennis tour smacked his opponent in the face after a loss, resulting in a heated courtside brawl
Michael Kouame slapped Raphael Nii Ankrah after losing a match in Ghana.Twitter/Kwesi_Gibson
  • On Monday, the ATP warned it was clamping down on bad behavior from tennis players.
  • Just a day after, a French youngster slapped an opponent in the face after a loss on a junior tour.

A tennis prospect smacked his opponent in the face after a loss at a junior tournament in Ghana, resulting in a huge brawl apparently involving fans.

France's Michael Kouame, 15, was beaten 6-2, 6-7, 7-6 in first round of an International Tennis Federation (ITF) junior tournament in the capital Accra to local player Raphael Nii Ankrah. ITF tournaments generally act as feeders for the higher profile ATP Challenger Tour and WTA 125K Tour, which in turn feed the elite ATP and WTA tours.

Immediately after the match had ended, Kouame, who was the number one seed for the competition, went to shake his opponent's hand at the net, and as he did so, slapped him in the face.

In footage shared on Twitter by an onlooker, and circulated by a number of tennis reporters and fan pages, gasps can be heard from the crowd before Kouame appears to apologize to Ankrah.

Another video shared by the same fan then shows what appears to be people from each players' camps involved in a physical altercation on the side of the court.


One person appears to be trying to chase down Koume, who can be seen fleeing the scene.

Watch footage of the slap and the aftermath here:

The incident happened just a day after the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) said it would clamp down on poor on-court behavior from players following a string of high profile incidents.

The organization was heavily criticized for issuing only a suspended sanction to Alexander Zverev after the German attacked the umpire's chair with his racket at the Mexican Open.

It has also come under fire for its responses to recent incidents involving Nick Kyrgios and Jenson Brooksby throwing their rackets in the direction of ball kids.


In a email sent to players on Monday, the ATP warned that is going to be getting stricter with players for such behaviour.

"Effective immediately and as we head into the clay court swing, the ATP officiating team has been directed to take a stricter stance in judging violations of the Code of Conduct.

"Additionally, we are also undertaking a review of the Code, as well as the disciplinary processes, to ensure that it provides appropriate and up-to-date penalties for serious violations and repeat offenders," said ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi in the email, according to Reuters.

The ITF has yet to speak on the incident involving Kouame, and did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Kouame, ranked 606th in ITF Junior World rankings, is still entered in the doubles tournament in Accra, and is scheduled to take the court on Tuesday.