World number one Tennis player Novak Djokovic was disqualified in the US Open fourth round on Sunday after he struck a line judge with a ball in the first set of his match against Pablo Carreno Busta from Spain. He was seen frustrated after wasting three set points against Busta.
Oh my god, Djokovic got disqualified from the US Open.pic.twitter.com/yCo3Lqw0tg— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) September 6, 2020
In the video circulating over social media, he could be seen hitting the ball reasonably hard to the back of the court that hit the female line judge in her throat. Novak was immediately seen running towards her to check her well being. After reviewing the video, followed by a discussion with the player, the referee informed him about his disqualification.
Statement by US Open on Novak Djokovic
In a statement, US Open said that in accordance with the Grand Slam rulebook, following his actions, the tournament referee defaulted Novak Djokovic from US Open 2020. He will lose all ranking points earned at the US Open and will be fined prize money won at the tournament.
USTA statement on default of Novak Djokovic: pic.twitter.com/dqlt0mokg9— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 6, 2020
Statement by Novak Djokovic
Novak issued a statement on his Instagram account and said that the situation had left him sad and empty. He checked on the line person and the tournament told him that she was okay. He added, “I‘m extremely sorry to have caused her such stress. So unintended. So wrong. I’m not disclosing her name to respect her privacy. As for the disqualification, I need to go back within and work on my disappointment and turn this all into a lesson for my growth and evolution as a player and human being.”
Djokovic’s name has been associated with several controversies in the past.
- Being one of the most famous anti-vaxxers, he has often been seen promoting alternate medicinal practices that clash with sports science. In May, world number two Rafael Nadal said in a statement that Covid-19 vaccines are made compulsory by the governing bodies of Tennis, then Djokovic has to oblige if he wants to continue his career in Tennis.
- Novak believes in telekineses and telepathy. In 2017 he appointed Pepe Imaz who worked as his ‘mental guru’ till they parted ways in 2018. He also reportedly taught Djokovic how to ‘levitatie’. He came under fire for endorsing a product for alleged brain cell growth.
- His wife, Jelena, shared a video that linked 5G technology to the Covid-19 outbreak. The said controversy on a larger scale led to the destruction of 5G towers in several locations worldwide.
- Recently, he was criticized extensively for traveling in June for the Adria Tour exhibition tournament organized by his brother Djordje Djokovic. Photos and videos appeared on social media where the players and spectators were seen flouting social distancing norms. Novak along with Croatia’s Borna Coric, Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria and Viktor Troicki were tested positive for Covid-19 during the tournament.
- Novak in 2016 questioned if women deserve equal prize money in Tennis. He said that men deserve to be paid more compared to women.