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US Open's Top Seed Booted for Hitting Judge

Novak Djokovic can see the rest of it on TV
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 6, 2020 3:40 PM CDT

(Newser) – Top-seeded Novak Djokovic was defaulted from his fourth-round match at the US Open after he accidentally hit a line judge in the neck with a tennis ball Sunday, the AP reports. It was a stunning end to Djokovic’s bid for an 18th Grand Slam title and his 26-0 start to this season. "In accordance with the Grand Slam rulebook, following his actions of intentionally hitting a ball dangerously or recklessly within the court or hitting a ball with negligent disregard of the consequences, the US Open tournament referee defaulted Novak Djokovic from the 2020 US Open," the US Tennis Association said, adding that "Djokovic will lose all ranking points earned at the US Open and will be fined the prize money won at the tournament in addition to any or all fines levied with respect to the offending incident."

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With 2019 champion Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer not in the field this year, Djokovic arrived in New York as the overwhelming favorite. But it all came apart Saturday at Arthur Ashe Stadium, when Djokovic had just lost a game to his opponent, Pablo Carreno Busta, to fall behind 6-5 in the first set. As he walked to the sideline for the changeover, Djokovic smacked a ball behind him. The ball hit a line judge, who dropped to her knees at the back of the court and reached for her neck. After a discussion of several minutes with officials on court, Djokovic walked over to shake hands with Carreno Busta. It was clear Djokovic did not intend to hit the line judge; he wasn't looking in that direction when he hit the ball, and there was concern written on his face as soon as he realized what happened. See video here.
(Read more tennis stories.)

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