US Open 2020: Novak Djokovic Disqualified after Hitting Lineswoman with Ball
US Open 2020: Novak Djokovic’s troubled year continues as the World No. 1, on Sunday, was disqualified for hitting a lineswoman with the ball during his 4th-round match against Pablo Carreno-Busta in New York.
Novak Djokovic’s bid for an 18th Grand Slam title and 26-0 record this season came to a bizarre end at the US Open 2020. The World No. 1 was defaulted for accidentally hitting a line judge with the ball during his 4th-round match against Pablo Carreno-Busta on Sunday at the Flushing Meadows.
Novak Djokovic was trailing 5-6 in the 1st set for his match against Pablo-Carreno Busta when the stunning incident happened in front of empty stands at the Arthur Ashe Stadium, leaving the sporting world in shock. As he walked to the sideline for the changeover, Djokovic smacked a ball behind him in frustration. The ball, accidentally, hit a line judge, who dropped to her knees at the back of the court and reached for her neck.
After a discussion of several minutes with officials on court, including tournament referee Soeren Friemel, Djokovic walked over to shake hands with Carreno Busta. Chair umpire Aurelie Tourte then announced the default.
ACCORDING TO THE RULES
“In accordance with 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 U.S. Open tournament referee defaulted Novak Djokovic from the 2020 U.S. Open,” the USTA said in a statement, elaborating the rule that led to the default.
This will be the first time since 2004 that a Grand Slam semi-finals will be without one of the Big 3 – Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. While Federer ended his 2020 season early after surgery, Nadal pulled out of US Open due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
It’s been a horror year for Djokovic, who was severely criticised for organising an exhibition tennis tour – Adria Tour which led to positive Covid-19 cases in the tennis fraternity. Djokovic’s failure to acknowledge the mishap led to more critical reactions. Djokovic also launched a breakaway tennis players’ association – Professional Tennis Players’ Association which failed to gain support from a few, including Nadal and Federer.
Djokvic’s US Open campaign couldn’t have ended on a poorer note.
The rule is the rule. It is unfortunate for everyone involved, but in this specific situation the default was the right call.