A teenage tennis player has apologized on social media after slapping his opponent in the face following a first-round loss at an ITF juniors tournament in Ghana.
Michael Kouame took to Instagram on Wednesday to share his regret over slapping Ghana’s Raphael Nii Ankrah, which sparked an on-court brawl Monday.
According to USA Today, the 15-year-old Kouame described the match as “extremely frustrating and intense.”
He reportedly said that verbal assaults were aimed at him throughout the match, including comments about his mother, who was in attendance.
— KENNETH KWESI GIBSON 🎾 (@Kwesi_Gibson) April 4, 2022
“However, that does not excuse my behavior. I would like to publicly apologize to Raphael,” Kouame wrote, according to a translation by USA Today.
“I was wrong and completely out of line. I accept any consequences as a result of my behavior from the ITF governing body, and will use this time to reflect on how I can better manage challenging situations like these in the future in a manner that accurately reflects my character.”
Kouame, who entered the match as the No. 1 seed in the Tennis Foundation Ghana Open, fell to Ankrah in three straight sets, 6-2, 6-7, 7-6. Kouame is the 606th ranked junior player, according to the International Tennis Federation.
The ITF said in a statement that it is aware of the incident and is “reviewing the matter further under the code of conduct for the ITF World Tennis Tour Juniors to establish if any further action is required.”
The ITF has not yet disciplined Kouame as of Wednesday.