Young British tennis star Sonay Kartal was the victim of a death threat earlier this week, leaving many in the tennis world shocked. While the 21-year-old had a strong, rather unfazed reaction to the threat, the message was horrifying enough to leave Kartal, her close ones, and fans concerned.
Kartal, who was Emma Raducanu’s childhood rival on the British tennis circuit and is now one of the rising professional stars alongside Raducanu, is currently ranked just outside the Top-200 in the WTA rankings.
The Briton player took to social media to share the message she received from an anonymous source, who shamelessly threatened to take her life. Kartal had a sarcastic response to the same, showing her composure amid the situation. Meanwhile, fans and others in the tennis world stood in solidarity with her.
The image below shows the threatening message and Sonay Kartal’s reaction to the same on Instagram.
Former player turned commentator Mark Petchey raised serious concerns over the same, calling for strict action to be taken against such instances.
“This is an utter disgrace. There has to be zero tolerance from tech companies for this,” Petchey wrote on Twitter.
This is an utter disgrace. There has to be zero tolerance from tech companies for this
— Mark Petchey (@_markpetchey) February 17, 2023
Reacting to the incident, fans expressed their support for Kartal, urging the young player to be careful, stay safe, and report the incident.
“Jfc. I know this is likely some bs from that person but it’s v specific to say “I’ll find you”, then say you want to to go jail. I hope she’s safe and reports this,” read another tweet.
jfc. I know this is likely some bs from that person but it’s v specific to say “I’ll find you”, then say you want to to go jail. I hope she’s safe and reports this 🙏🏽 https://t.co/rNmzt5wX5D
— caps 🎾 (@gamesetflop) February 17, 2023
Holy fucking shit?? Surely this is an actual crime?? pic.twitter.com/pL7zbV1N3Z
— allie 🦄 (@doublesalley_) February 17, 2023
Sonay Kartal targets Top-100 in WTA rankings in 2023 tennis season
Sonay Kartal enjoyed a brilliant season, winning four titles on the ITF circuit that sent her from 864th in the WTA rankings at the start of the 2022 season to inside the world’s Top-200 by the time the year concluded. The 21-year-old, who also teamed up with the likes of Emma Raducanu and Harriet Dart, among others, in Great Britain’s 2022 Billie Jean King Cup team, now aims to ride on the confidence and is targeting a Top-100 ranking by the end of the 2023 season.
“After what I achieved last year, I don’t think there are any boundaries to what I can achieve and anything is possible this year,” Sonay Kartal said in a recent interview, as per the LTA.
“Getting into the top 100 will be very hard, but I absolutely think it is within reach.”
Kartal lost in the opening round of qualifying at the 2023 Australian Open, but reached the quarterfinals of an ITF $60k event in Sunderland soon after. The current world No. 203 has a career-high WTA singles ranking of No. 195.