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Djokovic Apologizes, Feels "Sad and Empty"



By Adrianna Outlaw

Novak Djokovic apologized for unintentionally hitting a lineswoman during his US Open fourth-round match that resulted in his disqualification from the tournament today.

The world No. 1, who skipped his mandatory post-match press conference, issued an Instagram to the lineswoman and the US Open saying the entire debacle has left him feeling "really sad and empty."

More: Djokovic Defaulted From US Open

Djokovic was defaulted for hitting the lineswoman in the throat and knocking her to the ground after he dropped serve to fall behind Pablo Carreno Busta 5-6.

Tennis Express

"This whole situation has left me really sad and empty," Djokovic said. "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."




 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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. Cela ova situacija me čini zaista tužnim i praznim. Proverio sam kako se oseća linijski sudija, i prema informacijama koje sam dobio, oseća se dobro, hvala Bogu. Njeno ime ne mogu da otkrijem zbog očuvanja njene privatnosti. Jako mi je žao što sam joj naneo takav stres. Nije bilo namerno. Bilo je pogrešno. Želim da ovo neprijatno iskustvo, diskvalifikaciju sa turnira, pretvorim u važnu životnu lekciju, kako bih nastavio da rastem i razvijam se kao čovek, ali i teniser. Izvinjavam se organizatorima US Opena. Veoma sam zahvalan svom timu i porodici što mi pružaju snažnu podršku, kao i mojim navijačima jer su uvek uz mene. Hvala vam i žao mi je. Bio je ovo težak dan za sve.

A post shared by Novak Djokovic (@djokernole) on



The world No. 1, who carried a 26-0 record on the season into Arthur Ashe Stadium today, was also fined $10,000 and will forfeit all ranking points and the $250,000 in prize money he earned for reaching the fourth round.



Trailing 5-6 in the opening set, Djokovic turned and hit a ball in frustration at the back wall after dropping serve. The shot inadvertently struck a lineswoman in the throat immediately knocking her to the Arthur Ashe Stadium court.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion pled his case with the tournament referee during a discussion that lasted about 10 minutes before he was defaulted.

"In accordance with the Grand Slam rulebook, following his actions of intentionally hitting a ball dangerously or recklessly within the court or hittin a ball with negligent disregard of the consequences, the US Open tournament referee defaulted Novak Djokovic from the 2020 US Open," the US Open announced in a statement. "Because he was defaulted, 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 the respect to the incident."

Tournament referee Soeren Friemel told ESPN’s James Blake he did not see the video of the incident before walking out on the court, but has seen the video since and it confirmed he made the correct call. Friemel also reports the lineswoman is back at her hotel resting and will be okay.

"I think I’m very pleased with the situation meaning that I got the facts right," Friemel told ESPN. "This is the key element when you are coming on court. You need to talk to chair umpire and Grand Slam supervisor because you want to get it right, obviously.

"Now I had a chance to look at video and the facts clearly state that according to the rules he had to be defaulted. The line umpire was clearly hurt. He hit the ball recklessly angrily and that was the right decision."

Photo credit: Mark Peterson/Corleve

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