Novak Djokovic has been disqualified from the US open after mistakenly hitting the ball at a line judge in his game against Pablo Carreno Busta. Frustration was over Djokovic before the scene. Djokovic was set to change ends after finishing a game. He then hit the ball backward. Without looking he accidentally hit the judge in the throat and she fell down to the ground.
The referee disqualified Djokovic after taking ten minutes to deliberate on the issue and following the game rule. The judge’s name was Laura Clark from Owensboro, Kentucky. Laura said the injury was serious.
The ITF’s Grand Slam rule says Players are not allowed to abuse the officials, opponent, spectator, or any person within the premises of the game at any time.
For the purpose of this rule, physical abuse is the unauthorized touching of an official, opponent, or any person.
The referee in consultation with the grand slam chief of supervisors may declare a default for either a single violation of this code or pursuant to the point penalty schedule set out above.
There is precedent for players been disqualified from events for hitting a match official. The most recent example is Denis Shapovalov hitting the chair umpire while representing Canada during the Davis Cup. Tim Henman hit a ball girl with a ball when he was playing alongside Jeremy Bates in Wimbledon doubles. He was subsequently disqualified in 1995. David Nalbandian was disqualified from the queens club final in 2012 after he kicked an advertising hoarding and hitting a line judge.
Novak Djokovic disqualification means there will be a first-time men’s single winner after stan Wawrinka won the Australian open 2014. Rafael Nadal and Wawrinka elected to skip the tournament and Marin Cilic and Andy Murray have been eliminated. Roger Federer and Juan Martin Del Potro are both on a long-term injury.
Although Djokovic pleaded he was told there was no option. World No 1 immediately left the stadium without attending the mandatory press conference to explain himself.
Novak Djokovic Apology statement
Hours after Djokovic left the stadium, he released a statement that read. The situation has left me empty and disappointed. I checked on the line woman and the tournament told me she was feeling ok.
I am really sorry to have caused her so much stress. so unintended, so wrong. Because I want to respect her privacy, I won’t disclose her name. As for the disqualification, I need to go back and work on my disappointment. And also turn it into a lesson for my growth and evolution as a player and human being.
I apologize to the US Open tournament and everyone that is associated with my behavior. I am grateful to my team and my family for being my support. And my fans for always being there with me. Thank you and I am sorry.