New York: World No.1 Novak Djokovic exited the US Open most unexpectedly after he was defaulted as a ball he struck had hit the line judge in the throat. While the shot wasn’t intentional, the official was down for a while. The Serb was in action against Pablo Carreno Busta.
While Djokovic didn’t attend the post-match interaction, he did take to social media to apologise.
“This whole situation has left me sad and empty,” Djokovic wrote. “I checked on the lines person and the tournament told me that thank God she is feeling ok. I’m extremely sorry to have caused her such stress. So unintended. So wrong. I’m not disclosing her name to respect her privacy. 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,” he added.
“I apologize to the @usopen tournament and everyone associated with my behaviour. I’m very grateful to my team and family for being my rock support, and my fans for always being there with me. Thank you and I’m so sorry,” he wrote further.
The USTA (United States Tennis Association) issued a statement and said: “Following the Grand Slam rulebook, following his actions of intentionally hitting a ball dangerously or recklessly within the court or hitting a ball with negligent disregard of the consequences, the US Open tournament referee defaulted Novak Djokovic from the 2020 US Open. Because he defaulted, Djokovic will lose all ranking points earned at the US Open and will be fined the prize money won at the tournament in addition to any or all fines levied concerning the offending incident.”