Novak Djokovic checks the line judge after inadvertently hitting her with a ball. (Image: AP)
World's number one Novak Djokovic's disqualification from the US Open fourth round, after he struck a line judge with a ball following a point during the first set of his match against Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta, has triggered a range of reactions from tennis fans on social media.
The 33-year-old tennis star swatted a ball reasonably hard to the back of the court, inadvertently striking a female line judge in the area of her throat.
With the line judge screaming out in pain as she fell out of her chair, a horrified Djokovic ran over to her and apologised.
HUGE: Novak Djokovic got disqualified from the US Open for this.
Following the incident, Djokovic also took to his Instagram to share his reaction on the disqualification. Djokovic wrote, “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. I apologize to the @usopen tournament and everyone associated with my behaviour.”
Unbelievable that @DjokerNole has been defaulted. This was the correct decision under the rules regardless of intent or not. Novak should have stayed for the press conference & apologise. We must take responsibility for our actions no matter how difficult the situation is.— Greg Rusedski (@GregRusedski1) September 6, 2020
Punishment far too severe for the accidental crime. A joke
In some ways this is a fitting moment in Djokovic's 2020, which has dominated by a debate over whether one should be responsible for the negative outcomes of carelessness and reckless behavior despite having only "good intentions."#USOpen— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) September 6, 2020
You shouldn't apologize to the people that robbed you of an 18th Slam
Wouldn’t call myself your fan, but you definitely got robbed. No way tennis officials see something malicious in what you did. It was an accident... What about the players that scream to officials or the ones that smash their rackets? Only $ fines for them.— Velam Dahlström (@VelamDahlstrom) September 6, 2020
Too bad, frustation doesn't lead to anything good, no intention to hit her but that behavior is unacceptable, it could have been worse.