Novak Djokovic, the best tennis player in the men’s category, was disqualified from his fourth-round match against Pablo Carreño Busta on Sunday after he unknowingly hit a line judge with a tennis ball. A video of a line judge being hit in the throat by a tennis ball went viral on YouTube. Djokovic was certainly in a state of shock after contemplating what had happened.
What exactly happened?
In reality, Novak Djokovic hit the ball with his racket as he walked off the court for a changeover. Unfortunately, the ball straight-away went ahead and hit a line judge in the throat and left her unconscious for several minutes. In the video, it is clearly seen that Djokovic was pretty surprised to see what had happened in a matter of seconds.
This was the second time in the first set that Djokovic hit a ball out of frustration. Alas, his frustrated action cost him his 18th Grand Slam title.
Djokovic faces the consequences
Following the incident, Djokovic had an extensive discussion with the chair umpire and other tournament officials. Djokovic told the officials,
It’s tough for you, whatever call you take, I understand.
He was well aware of the consequences and that strict actions were to be taken as per the unbreakable tennis rules. As per the decision taken by the U.S. Tennis Association, Djokovic will be fined the prize-money won at the tournament along with any other pending fines levied on him. He will also lose his ranking points which he earned at the U.S. Open.
The 33-year-old was having a great season this year. He had won every single match in 2020 and now, lost it all only because of one decision taken in frustration. In the post-match conference on Sunday evening, the Open’s Tournament referee, Soeren Friemel, said,
We all agree that he did not do it on purpose, but the facts are still that he hit the line umpire and the line umpire was clearly hurt.
Djokovic took to Instagram and posted an apology. He said,
The whole situation has left me really sad and empty. I checked on the lines person and thank God, she is feeling okay. I’m extremely sorry to have caused her such stress. So unintended. So wrong.”
He further wrote that he would not disclose her name for privacy reasons. He apologized to the tournament officials and everyone associated with it. Furthermore, he thanked his family, his team, and his fans for being his “rock support”.
Moreover, with Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and even Roger Federer out of the picture, the U.S. Open will now have a new first-time Grand-Slam winner.