World No.1 Novak Djokovic was disqualified from the grand slam during his fourth-round encounter against Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta. The Serbian unintentionally struck a ball right on the throat of a line judge following a point.
While Djokovic immediately apologised and rushed to tend to the judge, the rules of the game forbid any kind of harm to the officials.
“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.”
The tournament judge Soeren Friemel made his way over to the court to discuss the issue with chair umpire Aurelie Tourte. After several minutes fo deliberating and Djokovic pleading his innocence, the decision was made for the 17-time Grand Slam winner to be eliminated off the tournament.
After the decision was convened, Djokovic trudged over to shake hands with his opponent and proceeded to leave the court. The line judge’s identity is unknown as of yet, but she is said to be fine after the incident.
Check out the incident right below:
"there's no way Novak Djokovic can possibly look any worse this year"
— Eoin Sheahan (@EoinSheahan) September 6, 2020
Tennis world in shock following Djokovic’s actions
While the entire incident was unintentional, it still irked several tennis fans and pundits alike. Former champion Mats Wilander claimed that the player was unlucky, but believes that the right decision was made in the end. He said:
“You are not allowed to do that,” he said. “It’s as much bad luck as you can have on a tennis court. He didn’t just roll the ball back to the ball kid, that’s the bottom line.
“He hit it harder than he intended to, obviously a complete accident. It was a sign of frustration, yes. A little bit. But it doesn’t matter, you are not allowed to do it.”
Meanwhile, Djokovic was lambasted for not making a media appearance post the match by Former No.1 Greg Rusedski. He stated:
“I’m a little bit disappointed,” Rusedski said. “You have to remember this man is the world No 1.
“Yes it is a very difficult situation being defaulted at a major championship but he should have taken an hour or two hours to reflect on what happened, go into the press, take responsibility and apologise for the situation.