Novak Djokovic sensationally kicked out of US Open for hitting line judge with ball
Novak Djokovic has been sensationally defaulted from the US Open for hitting a female line judge with a ball.
The top seed and 17-time grand slam champion had just dropped serve to trail Spanish opponent Pablo Carreno Busta 6-5 in the opening set of their fourth-round match at Arthur Ashe Stadium when the incident occurred.
In frustration, Djokovic unintentionally hit a line judge in the face with a ball, which resulted in her falling to the ground.
He immediately went to check up on her, but following a lengthy discussion between tournament officials and the Serb, he was dumped out of the competition.
Djokovic pleaded with officials for around ten minutes before finally collecting his rackets and walking off the court.
A United States Tennis Association statement said: “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 US Open tournament referee defaulted Novak Djokovic from the 2020 US Open.
“Because he was defaulted, Djokovic will lose all ranking points earned at the US Open and will be fined the prize money won at the tournament in addition to any or all fines levied with respect to the offending incident.”
The 33-year-old won his 17th grand slam title in Australia and was the heavy favourite to make it 18 in New York having been unbeaten all season.
However, his US Open run comes to an end in shocking fashion.
Djokovic is not the first tennis player to be defaulted for something similar, though.
Canadian Denis Shapovalov was disqualified during a Davis Cup tie against Great Britain in 2017 after smashing a ball in anger that hit umpire Arnaud Gabas in the eye.
Tim Henman was also disqualified from Wimbledon 25 years ago for hitting a ball girl with a ball during a doubles match, while David Nalbandian kicked an advertising hoarding during the Queen’s final in 2012, injuring a line judge, and was defaulted.