Novak Djokovic is DISQUALIFIED from US Open for whacking a ball at a line judge as world No 1 fumes at umpire for decision

Novak Djokovic and his petulant tendencies flirted with disaster once too often on Sunday night when he was sensationally defaulted from the US Open.

The world number one was kicked out of Flushing Meadows as, in a flash of temper that has become too common, he angrily swiped a ball away that struck a female line judge in the throat.

Massive favourite for the tournament, the 33 year-old Serb had already been showing signs at frustration at the resistance being put up by Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta when he was broken for 5-6 in the opening set.

The line judge was named by relatives as Laura Clark, from Owensboro, Kentucky, with friends telling WKBR that she was not seriously hurt. While Djokovic was clearly not aiming for her, the ball hit Clark, who keeled over. The rules are quite clear: he had to go.
Referee Soeren Friemel was summoned onto court inside the deserted Arthur Ashe Stadium by umpire Aurelie Tourte. Djokovic was told, after plenty of debate, that there was no option.
He could be heard pleading for leniency, all to no avail.
“She doesn’t have to go to the hospital for this,” he said as he stood at the net, a shocked look across his face. “You’re going to choose a default in this situation? My career, Grand Slam, centre stage?”Friemel, backed up by senior official Andreas Egli, held firm, even when he added: “You have a game penalty, set penalty, many options.”
Djokovic quickly left the stadium afterwards without attending the mandatory press conference to explain himself.
That refusal from the newly self-appointed head of a players’ union quickly drew criticism from ex British number one Greg Rusedski, among others: “It’s a very difficult situation but he should have come into press, taken responsibility and apologised for the situation,” Rusedski told Amazon Prime.
Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios asked a question on Twitter: ‘Swap me for jokers (Djokovic) incident. “Accidentally hitting the ball kid in the throat” how many years would I be banned for?’
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