World number 1 Novak Djokovic has been disqualified from the US Open for accidentally hitting a ball at a line judge in his fourth-round match.
The 33-year-old Grand Slam Champion showed frustration after losing a serving trail against Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain. He hit a ball behind him, which struck a female line judge in her throat, subsequently leading to his dismissal.
The US Open Tennis Championship tweeted, “In accordance with the Grand Slam rulebook, following his actions of intentionally hitting a ball dangerously or recklessly within the court or hitting a ball with negligent disregard of the consequences, the US Open tournament referee defaulted Novak Djokovic from the 2020 US Open.”
It further states, “Because he was defaulted, Djokovic will lose all ranking points earned at the US Oopen and will be fined the prize money won at the tournament in addition to any or all fines levied with respect to the offending incident.”
Djokovic posted an apology on Instagram, he wrote, “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.”
On the disqualification, Nick McCarvel, US Open commentator and reporter said, “According to the Grand Slam Rulebook, it was indeed up to the officials on court.
They chose not to apply the Point Penalty Schedule, meaning they deemed it a Major Offence of ‘Aggravated Behaviour.’