Novak Djokovic Defaults from US Open after He Accidentally Struck Line Judge with a Ball

In a surprising turn of events, Novak Djokovic got disqualified during the fourth round of the U.S. Open when his temper led to a lineswoman being unintentionally hit. 

Novak Djokovic feels remorseful for the way his actions unintentionally impacted one of the lineswomen at the U.S. Open during his match against Pablo Carreño Busta.

With the fourth round of the U.S Open underway, Djokovic was the favourite expected to win the men's singles tournament until his temper got the better of him during the first set.

Novak Djokovic returns a shot during his Men's Singles second round match against Juan Ignacio Londero of Argentina on day three of the 2019 US Open. | Source: Getty Images.

Novak Djokovic returns a shot during his Men's Singles second round match against Juan Ignacio Londero of Argentina on day three of the 2019 US Open. | Source: Getty Images.

HOW THE HIT HAPPENED

The Serbian tennis star had fallen to the ground chasing after a shot, and in frustration, he got up clenching his shoulder and hit the ball behind him without checking. The ball hit the umpire and in doing so, ended his time at the U.S. Open. 

Djokovic looked back right after he hit the shot, and the regret that flushed his face as soon as the ball hit later reiterated again in a statement he made publically. However, the damage was done - he is out of the U.S. Open.

THOSE ARE THE RULES

According to the Grand Slam rulebook, no reckless ball-handling is tolerated, and any "negligent disregard" for where the ball may end up will result in a swift exit from the competition. However, the consequences go beyond simply defaulting from the competition. 

Additionally, the United States Tennis Association said that Djokovic would be fined for the prize money amount of the tournament, and he also loses any points he earned during the U.S. Open before defaulting. 

HIS APOLOGY

After the 33-year-old got disqualified he did speak with reporters, but on Sunday he issued a statement of apology on social media, feeling remorseful for his actions.

Grateful that the lineswoman he hit is "feeling ok," the moment of unintentional disregard left him feeling disappointed in himself, as he wrote

"I‘m extremely sorry to have caused her such stress. So unintended. So wrong. I’m not disclosing her name to respect her privacy."

Reflecting on the disqualification, Djokovic added that he intends growing from the disappointment to become a better person and player while again apologising to everyone involved, from the tournament to the lineswoman. 

Earlier this year, Djokovic showed that he does have a caring side that steps up to help where he can. Through the Novak Djokovic Foundation, the tennis star and his wife donated about $1.1 million towards the purchase of medical equipment and ventilators for medical centres in Serbia.

HIS PREVIOUS APOLOGY

The tennis star opened up his wallet after he also contracted the novel coronavirus earlier this year. In June, after returning from the controversial Adria Tour, Novak Djokovic confirmed in a statement that he contracted COVID-19. 

The last leg of the tour got cancelled due to the pandemic, and he later apologised for to anyone who also got infected because of the tour, which he had helped organise.

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