Novak Djokovic defaulted from US Open for striking ball at line judge

Djokovic: “This whole situation has left me really sad and empty. I checked on the lines person and the tournament told me that thank God she is feeling OK”

Novak Djokovic has been disqualified from the US Open after hitting a line judge with the ball.

The world No 1 had just dropped his serve to trail opponent Pablo Carreno Busta 6-5 in the opening set of their fourth-round match on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

He hit a ball behind him in frustration and it struck a female line judge. After the ball was struck, it was immediately clear that she was hurt and the Serb rushed over to check on her condition.

Tournament referee Soeren Friemel came out on to the court and spoke to chair umpire Aurelie Tourte and Andreas Egli, the Grand Slam supervisor, before a lengthy discussion between tournament officials and Djokovic.

He pleaded his case at length before accepting his fate, collecting his rackets and walking off the court.

Djokovic will face another fine for not doing his press conference. Soon after the incident, the 33-year-old was pictured getting into a black Tesla car and leaving Flushing Meadows.

Djokovic later apologised in a statement on Instagram, saying: “This whole situation has left me really sad and empty. I checked on the lines person and the tournament told me that thank God she is feeling OK.

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