It hasn’t been the best of years for Novak Djokovic after he revealed himself to be an anti-vaxxer and then contracted Coronavirus after setting up a tennis tournament to prove that COVID wasn’t a problem, but he’s somehow managed to top all of that with this latest story.
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Djokovic was playing in the first round of the US Open over the weekend – I’ll be honest, I didn’t even know it was happening right now either – and was pretty annoyed after his serve was broken in the first set to give a score of 6-5 and he whacked a ball back to the line judge in frustration. Unfortunately for him though, the ball went straight into the neck of the line judge and seemed to really hurt her, leading to his immediate disqualification from the tournament.
Here’s how it went down:
HOLY CRAP. Djokovic defaulted after he inadvertently hits a ball and strikes a line judge in the neck. She had to leave. pic.twitter.com/BECdydrKFw
— Mark Armstrong (@ArmstrongABC11) September 6, 2020
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) September 6, 2020
I dunno, it seems quite stupid to me? It looks as though Djokovic definitely didn’t mean to do that judging by his reaction when he sees the ball hit her as he immediately apologises and goes over to check on her, so it seems a little harsh to disqualify him for that.
Having said that, rules are rules and you do generally have to follow them to the letter, but surely some common sense should have prevailed here? Everyone wants to see the best tennis players go up against each other so to rule that out because of what looks like a genuine error seems a bit frivolous.
By all means if someone deliberately attacks a line judge or ball boy or whoever then disqualify them, but I don’t think this was the right course of action here. Sorry Djokovic, but I suppose it will at least make other players be a bit more careful now and avoid any more injuries to officials. Not sure that there were too many to begin with though to be hones.t
For more of the same, check out Nick Kyrgios completely dissing a reporter during an interview. Brutal.