The 17-year-old Italian junior disqualified from her first-round match in the Australian Open girls' competition has shared her disappointment.
Maria Vittoria Viviani had just lost the first set 2-6 to Chinese opponent Xin Yu Wang after the Italian hit the ball long.
The youngster leaned back after realising she had coughed up the set before pulling the last ball out of her pocket.
Viviani sliced it along the ground and had barely finished her follow-through when she put her hand up to apologise to a ball kid.
"I'm still shocked. Yesterday was a very, very bad day for me because no one can feel good about this situation," Viviani told the Sydney Morning Herald.
"It was hard for me. I was crying after for one hour and a half non-stop. I was crying so much.
"I know, and all the people who know me, they know I did nothing wrong. I'm OK with myself because I know I did nothing. This helped make me a little bit better."
Viviani hit her last ball away after losing the first set. Pic: Channel 7
Viviani added that the ball boy appeared fine and ready to roll the balls for the second set.
On top of the emotional disqualification episode, officials also removed her from the doubles tournament.
"The thing that makes me angry is that I did a three-month pre-season for this tournament," she said.
"We come from Italy – it's so far away. We did 24 hours flight. It's not just a game, it's a job. That's the thing that hurts me more."
Former Italian professional Maria Elena Cameri, who was courtside for the match, told the Sydney Morning Herald that she unsuccessfully argued to have the decision changed.
"She was crying all day. It was very sad. She's a very nice girl. I just said to her, 'Shit happens'," Cameri said.
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