ATP World No.1 Novak Djokovic has apologised to the US Open tournament organizers for his unruly conduct in Sunday match.
Djokovic hope of winning another Grand Slam came to an end after be was disqualified from the US Open for hitting a ball that inadvertently made contact with a lineswoman at the back of the court.
The Serbian who won the Cincinnati Open last week, was already aiming to cruise to the quarter final of the US Open against Pablo Carreno Busta.
Busta broke to a 6-5 lead in the first set and a frustrated Djokovic hit a ball that touched the lineswomen.
After a lengthy discussion between the Serbian and tournament officials, the match was ended and Djokovic disqualified.
After his disqualification, a humane Djokovic apologised to the tournament official via a statement on his Twitter account.
He wrote, “This whole situation has left me really sad and empty.
“I checked on the linesperson 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.
“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 apologise to the US Open tournament and everyone associated for my behaviour.
“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.”
After the incident, the USTA released a statement to buttress their decision.
The statement reads as follows,
“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.”
According to atptour.com, the World No. 1 had three consecutive set points on Carreno Busta’s serve at 5-4, 0/40.
On the first of those chances, the Spaniard laced a forehand down the line that was called out.
A challenge revealed the ball clipped the back of the baseline by mere millimetres, keeping the 20th seed in the set.
Carreno Busta held that service game to even the opener at 5-5.
When Djokovic served at 0/15 in the next game, he awkwardly fell mid-rally, bracing himself on his left wrist before quickly grabbing his left shoulder.
The Serbian immediately took a medical timeout to get treatment for his shoulder before returning to the court.
After being broken in the same game to fall behind 5-6, Djokovic hit a ball that inadvertently made contact with a lineswoman at the back of the court.