World number one Novak Djokovic has been disqualified from the US Open after hitting a line judge with the ball.
Djokovic had just dropped his serve to trail opponent Pablo Carreno Busta 6-5 in the opening set of their fourth-round match on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Following the incident Djokovic was sent from the court after a lengthy discussion at the net between him and the tournament officials.
The tournament favourite had been in a good form coming into the US Open, having not lost this season, and also enjoying a 26-match winning run prior to his match against Carreno Busta.
The USTA released a statement on the default of the Serb saying
“In accordance with the Grand Slam rulebook, following his actions of intentionally hitting a ball dangerously or recklessly within the court or hitting a ball with negligent disregard of the consequences, the US Open tournament referee defaulted Novak Djokovic from the 2020 US Open. 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 respect to the offending incident.”
Djokovic is not the first player to have been defaulted for something similar. Tennis stars Denis Shapovalov (Davis Cup, 2017), David Nalbandian (Queen’s final, 2012), and retired professional tennis player Tim Henman (Wimbledon, 1995) have all been guilty of similar offense in the past.