Top seed Novak Djokovic has been disqualified from the US Open after striking a line judge with the ball.
Djokovic, the world No1 was contesting a fourth-round match against Pablo Carreno Busta on Sunday when the incident occurred. Spaniard Carreno Busta had just moved into a 6-5 first-set lead. Djokovic showed his frustration by hitting a ball away from the court.
It struck a lineswoman in the face, and although 17-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic moved quickly to apologise for the accident, which saw the judge drop to the floor, officials decided the Serb would be defaulted from the match. As such, the three-time US Open champion was forced to exit the tournament – his Spanish opponent Carreno Busta now moves into the quarter-finals. Watch the video, courtesy of Neal Smeathers on Twitter.
— Neal Smeathers (@Smevchenko) September 6, 2020
Players can be defaulted for “hitting a ball or throwing a racket without intent to harm” if someone is injured on the court, said Gayle David Bradshaw, a retired ATP Tour vice president for rules and competition. “In this case, there was no intent, but there was harm, and the officials had no choice but to do what they did,” he said.