Tournament favorite Novak Djokovic Sunday was disqualified from the 2020 U.S. Open after striking ball that hit lineswoman
Serbian world number one Novak Djokovic, 33, defaulted from US Open after hitting line judge with ball
Djokovic who many expected to win the tournament routinely had just lost his serve when incident happened
He trailed No 20 seed, Spaniard, Pablo Carreno Busta 6-5 in the first set
According to tournament rules he will lose all tournament points gathered, so far, and will be fined appropriately
An already unique U.S. Open took an unimaginable turn Sunday when No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic was defaulted from the tournament after hitting a lineswoman with a ball early in his fourth-round men’s singles match against Spaniard Pablo Carreño Busta.
Djokovic, a 17-time Grand Slam winner, is out of the tournament, and Carreño Busta will advance to the quarterfinals.
Djokovic’s default ensures men’s tennis will have a new Grand Slam champion for the first time in six years.
The Serbian world number one took a ball out of his pocket and hit it behind him, striking the female line judge in her throat.
After a lengthy discussion, he was defaulted by tournament officials.
Grand Slam rules state: “Players shall not at any time physically abuse any official, opponent, spectator or other person within the precincts of the tournament site.
“The referee, in consultation with the Grand Slam chief of supervisors may declare a default for either a single violation of this code.”
Djokovic showed his frustration on court, after losing serve to trail 6-5 against Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta.
The incident occurred 40 minutes into the match at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York. Djokovic trailed 6-5 in the first set and had showed some frustration with his play.
The top seed then missed a passing shot from Carreño Busta on his forehand side. The drama unfolded as in preparing for the subsequent changeover, he took a spare ball out of his pocket and, hit a no-look shot toward the back of the court, where it struck a lineswoman in the throat and she fell onto the court.
Djokovic rushed to the back of the court to check on the lineswoman, then spoke at length to tournament officials on court before he was disqualified.
Djokovic was the heavy favorite to win the men’s singles title at the US Open, which is being played behind closed doors and is the first Grand Slam to take place since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
Going into the match against Carreno Busta, Novak Djokovic had not lost a singles match in 2020, racking a 29-match winning streak.