Novak Djokovic Disqualified From US Open After Hitting Judge With Ball
Novak Djokovic has been disqualified from the US Open after hitting a line judge with a ball.
The world number one tennis player was ousted from the competition following his fourth-round match against Spain’s Pablo Carreño Busta.
The top seed was on course to win his 18th Grand Slam. However, when Busta broke the Serb’s serve, the 33-year-old took a ball out of his pocket and hit it behind him. Unfortunately, the ball hit the line umpire in the throat, causing her to fall to the ground in pain.
The unnamed line judge was seen clutching her throat afterwards, with Djokovic running over to make sure she was alright. Following a lengthy discussion at the net with tournament referee Soeren Friemel and Grand Slam supervisor Andreas Egli, he was defaulted.
As per BBC Sport, Friemel said:
His point was that he didn’t hit the line umpire intentionally. He said: ‘Yes, I was angry, I hit the ball, I hit the line umpire, the facts are very clear, but it wasn’t my intent, I didn’t do it on purpose, so I shouldn’t be defaulted for that.’
We all agreed that he didn’t do it on purpose but the facts are still that he hit the line umpire and that the line umpire was clearly hurt.
Djokovic left Flushing Meadows without doing a press conference. His expulsion will see him lose all ranking points earned at the tournament, as well as the forfeiture of any and all prize money.
While he didn’t attend a press conference, he later posted a statement to Instagram, explaining that the ‘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 apologise 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.
Djokovic will also face a fine for leaving without attending the press conference.
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CreditsBBC Sport and 1 other