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#pounditTuesday, September 22, 2020

Novak Djokovic defaults at US Open after hitting line judge with ball

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic is out at the U.S. Open under remarkable circumstances after hitting a line judge with a ball in frustration.

Djokovic had just been broken by Pablo Carreno Busta in the first set of Sunday’s fourth-round match, falling behind 6-5. The current world No. 1 struck a ball in frustration and inadvertently hit a linesperson in the neck or chest.

Djokovic could be heard pleading his case with a match official after the incident, trying to avoid a default.

Though there did not appear to be anything intentional about it, it is an automatic default if a player strikes a match official on the court. Djokovic was subsequently disqualified and is out of the tournament.

Djokovic having a temper is nothing new. The 33-year-old was chasing his 18th Grand Slam title and had not lost a match in 2020. With Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal both opting to skip the U.S. Open, Djokovic was the overwhelming favorite to claim the title. Now that won’t happen.

The optics won’t help Djokovic either, especially when he’s already had a controversial summer.

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