US Open 2020: World No.1 Novak Djokovic Disqualified After Hitting Line Judge With Ball

"This whole situation has left me really sad and empty. I checked on the lines person...I'm extremely sorry to have caused her such stress. So unintended. So wrong," Djokovic said in a statement.

India   |   7 Sep 2020 7:54 AM GMT
Writer : Reethu Ravi | Editor : Prateek Gautam | Creatives : Rajath Arkasali Arkasali
US Open 2020: World No.1 Novak Djokovic Disqualified After Hitting Line Judge With Ball

World number one Novak Djokovic was disqualified from the US Open on Sunday, September 6, after accidentally hitting a line judge in the throat with a tennis ball after dropping a game in his last-16 match.

The disqualification marks an end to Djokovic's 29-match winning streak and the bid for an 18th Grand Slam title.

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.

The Serb is one of the few players to be disqualified from a men's singles tournament at a Grand Slam since John McEnroe was disqualified from the Australian Open in 1990.

"His point was that he didn't hit the line umpire intentionally. He said, 'Yes, I was angry. I hit the ball. I hit the line umpire. The facts are very clear. But it wasn't my intent. I didn't do it on purpose.' So he said he shouldn't be defaulted for it," tournament referee Soeren Friemel was quoted as saying by Associated Press.

"And we all agree that he didn't do it on purpose, but the facts are still that he hit the line umpire and the line umpire was clearly hurt," Friemel added.

Meanwhile, Djokovic 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," the 33-year-old said in a statement on Instagram.

"I'm extremely sorry to have caused her such stress. So unintended. So wrong," he added.

"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," he further said.

Also Read: US Open 2020: Sumit Nagal Becomes First Indian In Seven Years To Win Singles Match At A Grand Slam

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