New York: World Number one Novak Djokovic on Sunday, was disqualified in the fourth round of US Open after striking a lineswoman with a tennis ball.
The incident happened after the Serbian star lost his serve to go 6-5 down in the first set to Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta during the fourth round of the US Open. Djokovic showed his frustration by pulling out a ball of his pocket and smacked it behind him, hitting a female line judge in the throat.
Oh my god, Djokovic got disqualified from the US Open.pic.twitter.com/yCo3Lqw0tg
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) September 6, 2020
The 33-year-old was appeared to be looking away from the official at that time. The lineswoman fell to the floor of the Arthur Ashe court clutching her throat.
When Djokovic saw her collapse on the ground, he rushed to check on her and attempted to console her.
Tournament referee Soeren Friemel came out on the court and spoke to the chair umpire Aurelie Tourte and the Grand Slam supervisor Andreas Egli.
Djokovic also kept his point that he had not intended to hit the female judge and said that “she doesn’t have to go to hospital for this.”
According to a Grand Slam rule, “Players shall not at any time physically abuse any official, opponent, spectator or other person within the precincts of the tournament site.
“The referee, in consultation with the Grand Slam chief of supervisors may declare a default for either a single violation of this code.”
Djokovic later posted an apology on Instagram. “This whole situation has left me really sad and empty… I‘m extremely sorry to have caused her such stress. So unintended. So wrong.”
“As for the disqualification, I need to go back within and work on my disappointment and turn this all into a lesson for my growth and evolution as a player and human being. I apologise to the @usopen tournament and everyone associated for my behaviour.”
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This whole situation has left me really sad and empty. I checked on the lines person and the tournament told me that thank God she is feeling ok. I‘m extremely sorry to have caused her such stress. So unintended. So wrong. I’m not disclosing her name to respect her privacy. As for the disqualification, I need to go back within and work on my disappointment and turn this all into a lesson for my growth and evolution as a player and human being. I apologize to the @usopen tournament and everyone associated for my behavior. I’m very grateful to my team and family for being my rock support, and my fans for always being there with me. Thank you and I’m so sorry. Cela ova situacija me čini zaista tužnim i praznim. Proverio sam kako se oseća linijski sudija, i prema informacijama koje sam dobio, oseća se dobro, hvala Bogu. Njeno ime ne mogu da otkrijem zbog očuvanja njene privatnosti. Jako mi je žao što sam joj naneo takav stres. Nije bilo namerno. Bilo je pogrešno. Želim da ovo neprijatno iskustvo, diskvalifikaciju sa turnira, pretvorim u važnu životnu lekciju, kako bih nastavio da rastem i razvijam se kao čovek, ali i teniser. Izvinjavam se organizatorima US Opena. Veoma sam zahvalan svom timu i porodici što mi pružaju snažnu podršku, kao i mojim navijačima jer su uvek uz mene. Hvala vam i žao mi je. Bio je ovo težak dan za sve.