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Novak Djokovic defaulted from the US Open after hitting line judge with a ball


Novak Djokovic of Serbia tends to a line judge who was hit with the ball during his Men's Singles fourth round match against Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain on Day Seven of the 2020 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 6, 2020 in the Queens borough of New York City.
Djokovic was defaulted (Picture: Getty Images)

Novak Djokovic has been defaulted from the US Open after striking a line judge with a ball during his last-16 match against Pablo Carreno Busta.

In remarkable scenes towards the end of the first set, his 26-match winning streak was brought to an end as he struck a ball in anger after being broken, which hit a line judge in the throat.

A long discussion on court followed but the decision was clear and top seed Djokovic was eliminated from the tournament.

While it was a complete accident, the laws clearly state he had to be disqualified regardless of intent.

Rules state: ‘Players shall not at any time physically abuse any official, opponent, spectator or other person within the precincts of the tournament site.

‘In circumstances that are flagrant and particularly injurious to the success of a tournament, or are singularly egregious, a single violation of this section shall also contitute the major offence of “aggravated behaviour”.

‘For the purposes of this rule, physical abuse is the unauthorised touching of an official, opponent, spectator or other person.


Djokovic hit the line judge (Picture: Getty Images)

Djokovic was the clear favourite to win the title and he was the last remaining man in the draw who had won a Grand Slam title.

With the world No. 1 out of the draw, the men’s tournament has been blown wide open.

Carreno Busta will go on to face either Denis Shapovalov or David Goffin in the quarter-finals.

With Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal skipping the tournament, Djokovic could have closed the gap in the all-time Grand Slam charts.

It felt as if a freak result would have been required to take him out but instead one of the most shocking incidents in recent tennis history occurred.

He had taken a tumble earlier in the match and required treatment for a shoulder injury and after wasting opportunities to break the Carreno Busta serve, it was clear tensions were boiling over.

They peaked as he was broken, with Carreno Busta set to serve for the set.

Djokovic hit the ball behind him and it arrowed straight into the line judge’s neck.

A concerned Djokovic sprinted over to offer her support but his fate was soon sealed.

MORE: Novak Djokovic criticises US Open bubble

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Novak Djokovic Out of U.S. Open After Accidental Hit of Line Judge

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