NEW YORK — Top-seeded Novak Djokovic has been defaulted from his fourth-round match at the U.S. Open after he accidentally hit a line judge with a tennis ball.
The 33-year-old from Serbia left the tournament grounds without speaking to the media but posted an apology on Instagram.
View this post on Instagram
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.
It was a stunning end to Djokovic’s 29-match winning streak and bid for an 18th Grand Slam title.
Djokovic had just lost a game to his opponent, Pablo Carreño Busta, to fall behind 6-5 in the first set.
As he walked to the sideline for the changeover, Djokovic angrily smacked a ball behind him. He had been the overwhelming favorite for the championship.