World No 1 Novak Djokovic is out of the US Open after accidentally hitting a lines woman with a ball on her throat, earning automatic disqualification.
He had just been broken by Spanish Pablo Carreno Busta in the Round of 16 to trail 5-6, when he carelessly and in a moment of anger played a ball that hit a lines woman.
Djokovic apologizes to the woman but it was not enough.
The woman collapsed in apparent pains.
Although the tournament favorite ran to the woman to comfort her, he had broken a rule and the punishment was elimination from the tournament.
The US Open rules state that: ‘Players shall not at any time physically abuse any official, opponent, spectator or other person within the precincts of the tournament site.
‘In circumstances that are flagrant and particularly injurious to the success of a tournament, or are singularly egregious, a single violation of this section shall also constitute the major offence of “aggravated behavior”.
‘For the purposes of this rule, physical abuse is the unauthorized touching of an official, opponent, spectator or other person.”.
The implication is that Djokovic will also lose any deserved prize money at this year’s US Open.
Djokovic’s misfortune was Pablo Carreno Busta’s fortune.
The Spaniard qualified for the quarter-finals without having to sweat too much.
He joins Alexander Zverev, who destroyed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-2 6-2 6-1 to book the first place in the quarters.
- Toluwanimi Olatunji reporting.