The top seed in the US Open on the men’s side, Novak Djokovic, was defaulted from the tournament Sunday after he hit a linesperson with a ball.
Djokovic whacked the ball to the back of the court while trailing Pablo Carreño Busta in the first set of a fourth-round match.
The linesperson dropped to the ground in pain and Djokovic rushed to see if she was okay.
— ESPN (@espn) September 6, 2020
However, it was too late and the damage was done. Due to tennis rules, Djokovic had to default and was out of the tourney.
He had not lost a match in 2020 to this point.
Djokovic was the odds-on favorite in the men’s draw. Check out what his exit has done to the Betus odds for the rest of the tourney.
Djokovic later released a statement:
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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.
The Price Djokovic Will Pay
The United States Tennis Association issued a statement saying Djokovic was defaulted “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 USTA added Djokovic forfeits the ranking points and $250,000 in prize money that he earned in the tournament, “in addition to any or all fines levied with respect to the offending incident.”