Novak Djokovic was defaulted from the US Open after hitting a lineswoman with a ball

Embed from Getty Images

I’ve been watching hours and hours of the US Open, which is being held this year with no fans in the stands. Players and their small teams have had free rein of the Billie Jean King Tennis Center, and it’s created a unique atmosphere and a strange kind of vibe. Some players enjoy it, you can tell, but others seem off-kilter. Novak Djokovic has been one of the off-kilter players. He arrived in New York weeks ago for the Western & Southern/US Open double, and first let me say – the USTA was so happy that Novak showed up. He really did them a solid by deciding to play, especially in Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal’s absence. Novak (and Serena Williams) gave the tournaments legitimacy.

But Novak has been in a foul mood the entire time in New York. I think his New York Times interview was particularly telling – he’s still mad about how poorly his coronavirus-ridden Adria Tour was received, and all of the bad press he got during the lockdown because of that and his anti-Vaxx crap. I won’t even get into the PTPA mess, but that didn’t help with Novak’s mood either. Basically, he was just waiting to explode at someone or something. He’s been spiking balls right and left in his matches, and then in Sunday’s fourth round, on Arthur Ashe Stadium, he spiked a ball on a lineswoman’s throat.

This video shows everything that happened, starting with Novak’s fall (he jammed his shoulder), then Pablo Carreno Busta breaking Novak’s serve, which led to Novak hitting the ball at the lineswoman:

As you can see from the video, the woman collapsed and struggled to breathe. Here’s another angle:

— Mark Armstrong (@ArmstrongABC11) September 6, 2020

She was taken off the court and the on-site doctor saw her. She reportedly has a bruise on her throat but she is expected to be okay. The tournament supervisor came out onto the court and it was clear immediately that Novak would be defaulted, but the supervisor still allowed Novak to plead his case (from what we could hear, Novak sounded like a massive douche). The default still happened and Pablo Carreno Busta is on to the quarterfinals. Because of the default, Novak will not receive any US Open prize money or ranking points and he’ll be fined steeply. Within minutes of being defaulted, Novak left the tennis complex and he did not do any media (another fine). He did release this statement hours later on his social media:

This whole situation has left me really sad and empty. I checked on the lines person and the tournament told me that thank God she is feeling ok. 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. I apologize to the @usopen tournament and everyone associated for my behavior. I’m very grateful to my team and family for being my rock support, and my fans for always being there with me. Thank you and I’m so sorry.

[From Novak’s IG]

I mean… yeah. I’m not an anti-Novak person but he’s not my fave. I think this year has been awful for him and for his image. He needs to get the pseudoscience gurus out of his life and he needs to try… something else. His anger was palpable throughout the past few weeks and there was no reason for it. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: he feels like he doesn’t get the respect he deserves, so he has a chip on his shoulder and then people respect him less. The cycle continues. I do think the career-obituaries are overblown though.

— Del🇪🇺 (@Stroppa_Del) September 6, 2020

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Photos courtesy of Getty.

Source: Read Full Article