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31st Aug 2022

16-year-old tennis star’s ‘inappropriate’ celebration with father sparks uproar

Kieran Galpin


Some have taken to Twitter to share their feelings

Teenage tennis star Sara Bejlek shocked fans after celebrating with her father in what has since been described as “creepy” and “inappropriate.”

The Czech athlete qualified for her first-ever grand slam yesterday, beating out the likes of our own Heather Watson. While her in-game performance was applauded, the 16-year-old’s celebration following her victory sparked some online debate.

Two men, now known to be Bejlek’s father and coach, were seen hugging their victor with their hands placed on her lower back. Her father also appeared to kiss her on the mouth.

Online, one fan wrote: “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.”

“The WTA needs to look into these especially since these young girls are traveling w men from a very young age,” another added. “Also y’all can say its the dad or WTV but does your dad touch your bum like that.”

Bejlek has since responded to the viral story, telling reporters: “Of course I saw the video. It was a spontaneous reaction of the whole team. We rejoiced.

“It may certainly seem inconvenient and uncomfortable to some, but we have already discussed it with the team. It won’t happen again.”

Before her match against Russia’s Liudmila Samsonova, whom she lost to, Bejlek added to her previous statement.

“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.”

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