Professional wrestling has very little to do with tennis, however, they do have 'heel turns', which is a scripted choice to turn a wrestler from 'good' to 'bad'. It's done for entertainment value mostly and rarely results in proper blowback. Bouzkova's 'heel turn' wasn't scripted, and it wasn't free of blowback either.
The Czech player saw herself become persona non grata in tennis after an incident at Roland Garros earlier this year. Playing a doubles match against Miyu Kato and Aldila Sutjiadi, Bouzkova and doubles partner Sara Sorribes Tormo advanced after a default.
Miyu Kato hit a ballgirl unintentionally, which caused all sorts of commotion on the court and ended with a default. It was a harsh decision that left much of the tennis world unimpressed, but also one Bouzkova and Sorribes Tormo argued for.
I would say there are still emotional days even now where you’ll share something and so many people will post hate about that incident. It’s still pretty hard for me because I’ve never been in such a situation where I feel like I’m the bad person.
Being branded a villain was odd for Bouzkova who won the WTA Sportsmanship Award in the past. Justified or not, the situation didn't paint either player in a great light with many prominent figures in the sport denouncing their behaviour.
It’s something I don’t wish on anyone. It’s hard for us athletes. We are exposed on social media and it’s so easy to misinterpret when something goes viral, and that’s something we don’t have much influence on. Since that moment, I’ve been a little more distant from social media because that’s just a war you can’t win. On social media, there’s always going to be a person getting bullied.
Feeling sorry for how the match ended, Bouzkova remained steadfast that the outcome was the right one. She revealed that a default was pretty much the only possible outcome as Kato did something that went against the rules and suffered consequences for it.
We went to the referee after the match and he told us that the match couldn’t have ended any other way, which is hard for a lot of people to accept, and he told us that if anyone has any questions, they can talk to him. But what tennis fan can go directly to the referee of Roland Garros? He’s not on Instagram.
Ultimately, what she did was clear and went against the rules. I would never have wished for them to get defaulted, but it’s what happened. That’s life.