The world number one and top seed Novak Djokovic was defaulted from the US open after striking a line judge with a ball following a point during the first set of his match against Pablo Carreno Busta.
After losing a game in the first set, Djokovic smacked a ball behind him in annoyance as he walked to the sideline. The ball hit a female line judge, and she dropped to her knees at the back of the court and reached for her neck.
After several minutes of discussion with officials on court and Djokovic, he was out of the competition before it was announced.
The Serbian Djokovic collected his rackets and walked off the court after the decision was made. He did not attend the post-match press conference but post an apology on his Instagram following the incident.
Novak Djokovic said that the whole situation had left him sad and empty. He checked the linesperson, and she told him she was okay.
Djokovic also said that he is extremely sorry to have caused her such stress, which was unintended and even wrong.
He also apologizes to us open tournament and everyone associated with his behavior.
Djokovic had not meant to hit the line judge, and he also quickly rushed over to check on her, but some players have been disqualified in the past over similar incidents.
The tournament’s organizers said that Djokovic hit the ball dangerously or recklessly with negligent disregard of the consequences. The US Open officials said Djokovic would lose all ranking points earned and fined the prize money he won.
Djokovic will face another fine for not doing the press conference, said US open officials.
This year Djokovic has already in a controversy that he was an anti-vaxxer and organized a controversial tennis tournament where players were seen not social distancing and dancing in nightclubs.
In that tournament, Novak Djokovic and several other players who took part in the game later tested positive for coronavirus.