The US Open officials defaulted Novak Djokovic out of the competition after accidentally hitting a lineswoman on the neck.
Novak Djokovic, the world’s number 1, hit a ball towards the baseline after losing a point against Pablo Carreno Busta. The ball went straight to the line judge’s neck.
Despite an unintended hit, tennis rules state that a person who hits another person inside the court can be ruled out of the competition. Djokovic approached the lineswoman after but he gets ejected still.
Busta moves on to the next round of the tournament. The score was 6-5 before the unfortunate accident happened.
What happened in the court?
Djokovic was in control of the game in its earlier parts. However, Busta found his rhythm and scored five points in a row.
Djokovic just hit a lines person in the neck with an errant ball after losing a point. And I think he knew it. Yikes. pic.twitter.com/05iVUtpQ0Z
— thehojo (@thehojo) September 6, 2020
Out of frustration, Djokovic was seen smashing a ball towards the courtside. Luckily, no one was hit at that time. But commentators were quick to say that it might turn bad for the Serbian player if he hit someone. That is what happened long after.
Djokovic pleas to no avail
Novak Djokovic is on his way to a grand slam this year but unfortunately, his run ended this way. The player tried to negotiate his sanction but US Open officer Lars Graff was firm on his decision.
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) September 6, 2020
Djokovic tried to handle the situation by stating, per Daily Mail, “she doesn’t have to go to the hospital for this.”
“You are going to choose a default in this situation? My career, grand slam, center stage?” he added.
Graff said that if the lineswoman stood up immediately it could have been a different situation. However, the unnamed line judge dropped down and held on her neck after the hit.
USTA statement on default of Novak Djokovic: pic.twitter.com/dqlt0mokg9
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 6, 2020
Djokovic will be fined for the accident and will be deducted all ranking points acquired, according to the United States Tennis Association (USTA).
Novak Djokovic posted an apology on his Instagram after. But it does not change the fact that his grand slam chances are now gone.
Featured image used courtesy of Carine06/Flickr