On Monday (28 August), a video of Bejlek celebrating her win with her father and coach went viral.
In the clip, Bejlek is seen shaking hands with her opponent, before heading courtside to celebrate with her father Jaroslav Bejlek and her coach Jakub Kahoun.
As soon as the 16-year-old tennis star hugs both men, they appear to be patting her buttocks repeatedly.
In the clip, Bejlek’s father was also seen giving his daughter a peck on the lips.
Many Twitter users were unhappy with the video and found it to be “inappropriate”.
“There’s absolutely no reason to touch a 16 yo girl on her butt like that. It’s beyond inappropriate,” one person tweeted. “As the video progressed it got worse and worse.”
Bejlek has now responded to the outrage, saying: “I saw the video. It was a spontaneous reaction of the whole team. We rejoiced.
La célébration de Sara Bejlek (16 ans) après sa qualif pour le tableau principal enflamme les réseaux sociaux à travers le monde. Il s'agit de son père et de son coach. pic.twitter.com/zfhFgRGbql
— Tennis Break News (@tennisbreaknews) August 27, 2022
“It may certainly seem inconvenient and uncomfortable to some, but we have already discussed it with the team,” she told iSport. “It won’t happen again.”
Bejlek added: “Dad is my dad and always will be. And I’ve known the coach since I was eight years old. He tapes me, he massages me.
“If something similar happened in the Czech Republic, no one would deal with it. But since we are in America, everyone comments on it. But as I say, we talked and it won’t happen again.”
Bejlek has a career-high WTA ranking of 181 in singles.
She won her biggest singles title to date at the 2021 ITS Cup, where she defeated Argentina’s Paula Ormaechea in the final.