16-Year-Old Tennis Star's 'Inappropriate' Celebrations With Father Sparks Outrage At US Open

By Samantha in Sports On 31st August 2022

Internet is reacting with horror and disgust and labeling teenage tennis player Sara Bejlek's celebrations with her father at the US Open 'creepy' and 'inappropriate'.

Bejlek had produced a brilliant display to overcome Heather Watson and qualify for her first-ever grand slam.

However, what became the talk of the town soon were the post-match celebrations that left people questioning the conduct of the tennis player's father. 

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Captured on Amazon Prime's broadcast of the match, the world No. 194 shook hands with her opponent and the official before making her way over to a clearly ecstatic supporter.

That man, who has now been identified as Bejlek's father, gave his daughter a big hug.

But during their embrace, the man continued to pat the 16-year-old on her bottom before kissing her on the mouth.

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They appeared very comfortable with this embrace, however, the interaction didn't sit well with many on social media.

One fan tweeted: "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."

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Social media reacted to the viral video with horror and disgust

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

As a third said: "'Creepy' is one way to describe it, but 'criminal' is more accurate. (And those who think it’s not so bad because it’s her father? That’s just as disturbing.) Needs to be reported."

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Some even argue that it was a friendly hug between a father and daughter duo, but majority didn't agree with it.

Footage of the incident has now gone viral online, racking up almost 200,000 views on one tweet alone.

As for Bejlek herself, she'll be preparing to make her US Open debut against Ludmilla Samsanova.

Bejlek's fellow compatriot and grand slam champion Barbora Krejcikova has spoken very highly of the teenager.

“I see big potential and I think Sara has a big future ahead of her,” Krejcikova said.

“She is a really, really good player and is doing really well at ITF World Tennis Tour events. For me, it is good that I can practice with her on a good level and for her I hope it is good that she has the chance to practice with me.

“Sara really is on the right path and has a nice team, who are doing everything to make her better every single day, and I would just tell her to keep going, keep doing her best every day and keep believing in herself.”