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WATCH: Will Smith-Chris Rock recreated as junior tennis player slaps opponent after losing

Top-seeded French junior tennis player Michael Kouame slapped his opponent after losing in the first round of an ITF event, bringing to mind the Will Smith-Chris Rock altercation.

tennis michael kouame raphael nii ankrah will smith chris rock slap oscars

Top-seeded French player Michael Kouame slaps Raphael Nii Ankrah after losing (left), Will Smith allegedly slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars (right)


The Bridge Desk

Published: 5 April 2022 7:05 AM GMT

Tennis, of late, has become a wild place with the frequency of on-court drama gaining a major spike. At the ongoing ITF Juniors tournament in Accra, Ghana, top-seeded French tennis player, Michael Kouame surprisingly slapped his opponent, Raphael Nii Ankrah after losing, 2-6, 7-6, 6-7.

Meeting at the net to customarily shake hands, Kouame, the World No. 589 in the ITF Junior Rankings took everyone by surprise, especially his Ghanaian opponent by slapping him on the face after suffering a defeat in the first-round clash.

The 15-year-old French player's actions, thoroughly unacceptable as they are, is also a quick reminder of the drama that took place at the recently held 94th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre, Los Angeles where Will Smith controversially slapped comedian Chris Rock on live television, after Rock made a joke about Smith's wife, Jada.

Only minutes after this incident took place on the stage, Will Smith walked away with the Oscar for Best Actor, winning it for his portraiture of Richard Williams in the sports biopic King Richard, which tells the story of tennis legends, Venus and Serena Williams.

While that may be a matter of the stage, the unfoldings on the tennis court, especially such actions from junior players, are highly unexpected. That said, tennis has been in the news for such actions recently as well with top players like Alexander Zverev abusing the chair umpire at the Mexico Open to the regular drama of Nick Kyrgios on the court and even, Novak Djokovic, on the rare occasional racquet-breaking spree - acts of violence seem to be recurring in the usually etiquette-filled elite sport of tennis.

Kouame's slap immediately sparked a lot of unrest among the spectators and a scene of chaos unfurled at the Accra Stadium. Although Kouame has crashed out of the singles, he still remains to compete in the doubles match as it is yet to be known what disciplinary actions will be taken against him for this unruly and unsportsmanlike behaviour.

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