Djokovic disqualified: Novak ‘sad and empty’ after hitting line judge with ball

Sep 07, 2020
The world number one was disqualified from the US Open on Sunday. Source: Getty.

Novak Djokovic’s US Open dreams have been dashed as the world number one was disqualified from the competition on Sunday after hitting a line judge with a ball.

The Serbian player was facing Pablo Carreno Busta in the fourth round of the tournament when he angrily smashed a ball towards the back of the court in frustration, accidentally striking the female line judge in the neck.

The woman fell to the ground due to the force of the blow, and Djokovic rushed to her aid. Novak, 33, remained on court for around 10 minutes following the incident, before officials confirmed his fate, reports the Wide World of Sports.

While the tennis ace did not front the press after the match, Djokovic has since published a statement on social media and apologised for causing the unnamed lineswoman “such stress”.

“This whole situation has left me really sad and empty,” he said. “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.” [sic]

View this post on Instagram

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.

A post shared by Novak Djokovic (@djokernole) on

Fans and fellow players also responded to the news, with Aussie star Nick Kyrgios suggesting that he would be banned from the sport if he committed a similar action. He wrote on Twitter: “Swap me for jokers [Djokovic] incident. ‘Accidentally hitting the ball kid in the throat’… how many years would I be banned for?”

While American great Billie Jean King said: “Here are my thoughts on the Novak Djokovic default. First I hope the line judge is okay. The rule is the rule. It is unfortunate for everyone involved, but in this specific situation the default was the right call.”

Many fans backed the decision, with one writing: “The rule states that any ball hit while not in play, which then hits someone else, is an automatic default. This was an easy decision for the officials to make.” However others suggested that the lines woman overreacted to the blow.

Sue's sassy!

She became a member of Starts at 60 and got access to amazing travel deals, free masterclasses, exclusive news and features and hot member discounts!

And she entered to win a $10K trip for four people to Norfolk Island in 2021. Join now, it’s free to become a member. Members get more.

email

Are you a fan of Novak Djokovic?

Please sign in to post a comment.
Retrieving conversation…
Stories that matter
Emails delivered daily
Sign up