Novak Djokovic is disqualified in the fourth round of the US Open. The Serb got frustrated in his match against Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta when he lost his service game, on which he hit a ball away, hitting a female line judge at the throat.
In accordance with the rules, the main referee then had no choice but to disqualify the Serbian number one of the placing list. A few hours after the incident, Djokovic expressed his regrets on Instagram. “It makes me very sad and empty. Fortunately, the line judge is feeling well. I am very sorry that I caused her so much stress. Unintentionally. But so wrong.”
It wasn’t a wild or ferocious move by Djokovic to knock the ball away, but the rules state that if a player attacks an official by uncontrolled behaviour or hurts him, disqualification is the result.
Minutes of discussion
He hit the ball almost carelessly and without looking away. When he noticed that he had hit a female linesman, Djokovic immediately raised his hand in shock and walked towards the linesman to apologise.
Although Djokovic tried to avert fate during a minute-long discussion with the umpire and head referee, the head referee saw no reason to stroke his hand over the heart, after which Djokovic left the court with his head bent.
In the message on his Instagram account, Djokovic discusses the incident in detail. He writes that he needs time to process the disappointment and to consider it as ‘a lesson in his development as a player and a human being’.
in the message Djokovic also apologizes once more to the organization of the US Open and everyone involved.
“At first I also thought: he doesn’t do it on purpose,” says commentator Marcella Mesker in Langs de Lijn on Radio 1. “But rules are rules. The organization has dared to apply them and also to take Novak Djokovic out of the tournament.”
That also means that we get a new grandslaughter champion, Mesker continues. “Zverev, who won earlier in the evening, will rub his hands. Of course the young generation is also shocked, but they now have a big chance to become grandslaughter champion.”
For Djokovic there was initially nothing wrong during the match. On 5-4, however, he missed three set points, after which he hit the ball angry against the boarding.
One game later he was injured on his left shoulder after a fall and was also broken by Carreno. As he walked back to his seat, he knocked the ball away without looking and hit a line judge. Djokovic, who already won the Australian Open at the beginning of this year, hadn’t lost a match this year.
Due to the disqualification Djokovic loses all his points earned in the US Open and has to hand in his prize money.
Due to the absence of rivals Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, Djokovic was the big favourite for the final victory in New York. He now sees his chance of an eighteenth grand slam title disappearing like snow in the sun. Due to the disqualification Carreno reaches the quarter finals of the grandslam tournament.