After a lost service game, world number one Novak Djokovic furiously hits a ball – and hits a linesman. Too much for the US Open officials forced to make a tough decision.
Novak Djokovic raised his right arm and hurried to the linesman he had just hit so hard. The world’s number one was visibly shocked by his inadvertent but very unsportsmanlike action, which deprived him of his chance for the title at the US Open. The Serb was disqualified according to the rules. And the already completely strange tournament is experiencing a dramatic turning point.
“It is a real shame that he hit the linesman like that. There are rules for that. The coaches only do their job,” said quarter-finalist Alexander Zverev: “But it is really bad luck for him. If he hits the ball somewhere else only a few centimeters. everything would have been okay. “
Djokovic: “I accept every decision”
What happened? Djokovic, the clear tournament favorite, the undefeated dominator of this year’s tour, had just taken a break to 5-6 in the first set of his round of 16 duels against Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta when he fatally knocked a ball backwards. Suddenly, a linesman, apparently hit in the larynx, dropped to the ground and gasped. Later, according to Eurosport information, the woman should have felt better again.
The first dramatic scenes were followed by discussions lasting several minutes. “I accept every decision,” said Djokovic, the officials ultimately had no choice. The decision hurts not only Djokovic, but also the organizers of the US Open. “You just have to imagine it. He is number one in the world, the absolute superstar, Federer and Nadal are not there,” said Boris Becker at Eurosport. It was the “hardest, but right” decision for those responsible.
The tournament is sportingly upside down, players like Zverev, who was number five, but also Dominic Thiem (Austria / no. 2) or Daniil Medvedev (Russia (no. 3), the door suddenly opens wide for a possible scoop. Grand Slam win Zverev declined to comment on his chances: “I’m in the quarter-finals, that’s all I know.”
Djokovic’s ill-considered action will resonate for a long time. For the Serbian, he helped set the next low after the negative headlines about the Adriatic Tour that he helped organize, where several players became infected with the corona virus in June.