Following Novak Djokovic's disqualification from the US Open, after accidentally hitting a line judge in the throat with a tennis ball, the world number one on Monday, September 7, urged his fans to be "supportive and caring" after the judge was attacked online by trolls.
Taking to Twitter, Djokovic said that the lineswoman committed no mistake and urged the tennis community to support her.
"Dear #NoleFam thank you for your positive messages.. Please also remember the linesperson that was hit by the ball last night needs our community's support too. She's done nothing wrong at all. I ask you to stay especially supportive and caring to her during this time," the Serbian tweeted.
"From these moments, we grow stronger and we rise above. Sharing love with everyone. Europe here I come," he added.
Djokovic went 5-6 down in the first set against Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta when he hit a ball behind him. The ball hit the female official in the throat and she dropped to her knees.
Following nearly ten minutes of discussions with the tournament referee, the chair umpire Aurelie Tourte declared that Carreno Busta had won by default.
After Djokovic was disqualified, several social media users accused the line judge of exaggerating the extent of her injury.
According to a report by Daily Mail, while the US Open had not revealed the woman's name, a Serbian tabloid revealed her Instagram details, leading to several users abusing her.
In one of the posts dedicated to her late son, one user commented, "Don't worry, you'll join him soon."
Amid the shock and angst on social media at the decision, several people also poured in with support for the 33-year-old Djokovic.
Djokovic had also rendered an apology on Instagram and said that he was "extremely sorry" about the incident.
"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," he wrote.