In the first Grand Slam after CoVid-19 put tennis on pause, Novak Djokovic faced the saddest moment in this season for him, since he was disqualified. The Serbian tennis player saw the precipitated end of his road in this year’s Grand Slam, because accidentally, after a rough movement, he hit a line judge with a ball.
The event took place in the U.S. Open in his match against Pablo Carreño Busta, in which he wasn’t in his best shape, due to shoulder pain from the early stages of the set. While Djokovic was starting to feel frustrated, as he was trailing 5-6 in the first set in the 4th round, he took a ball out of his pocket and hit it directly in the throat of the line judge.
Immediately after the 17 times champion saw what happened, he rushed to aid the linesperson that crumbled as the judge was fighting for air. Luckily, things didn’t escalate far from there, as she is currently ok and without any consequences of the accident.
This event meant a lot to the Serbian because the rules imply that in any case of harm to any person on the court from the players, the player should be automatically disqualified. Whether it was intentional or not, rules are bound to be followed. We have seen this specific scenario before with players like John McEnroe, but it has never been this shocking.
Novak Djokovic was currently looking to add another title to his name by winning the 2020 Grand Slam. Since Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are not participating this year, Djokovic had a big chance of winning and becoming the champion for the 18th time.
Currently, Djokovic is number 3 in the world of tennis, as he is behind the 2nd place for only 2 Grand Slams. Even though this misadventure took this clear opportunity out of the hands of the Serbian, he showed himself reflective about the issue.
The athlete took to his Instagram account to give a public apology to the line judge, his fans, and the tennis community in general.
Djokovic stated that he was feeling sad and empty, as he lost his chance to come closer to the 2nd place. However, mostly he expressed his guilt on Instagram since he said that he is sorry for his behaviour and that he has no excuse. The tennis player also stated his commitment to work on the problem and that he looks forward to the next championship.
Many experts like the tennis legend Todd Woodbridge express their discomfort with this situation, as they said that tennis is not going to be the same. Djokovic was the favourite to win, but it looks like we’ll have to wait another year to see the Serbian earn the title.