US Open 2020: 'We must do better than that', players, fans react after Novak Djokovic's dramatic ouster
Here's how Twitter reacted post Novak Djokovic's dramatic exit from US Open 2020
Novak Djokovic was dramatically disqualified from the US Open on Sunday after accidentally striking a female lines judge with a ball in frustration during his last-16 match, sending shock waves through the tournament.
The world number one apologised for hitting the ball in disgust after losing his serve to go 6-5 down in the first set to Spain's unseeded Pablo Carreno Busta inside Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Djokovic appeared to be looking the other way when he pulled the ball from his pocket and smacked it in the direction of the official, it hitting her full toss in the throat.
The official cried out and began gasping for air as she collapsed to the ground.
Djokovic rushed over to her to check if she was okay and placed his hand on her back as she struggled to breathe. After a few minutes she got up and walked off the court looking dazed.
Around ten minutes of discussions then ensued between Djokovic and the tournament referee Soeren Friemel, during which the world number one pleaded his case.
The umpire then declared that Carreno Busta had won by default. Djokovic shook hands with his opponent before leaving the court without appearing to shake the umpire's hand.
Fans, experts and former players started giving their opinion on the incident soon after it took place. Here are some of the key reactions:
Firstly, Novak apologised for his actions
This whole situation has left me really sad and empty. I checked on the lines person 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… https://t.co/UL4hWEirWL
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) September 6, 2020
What does the rulebook says?
According to the Grand Slam Rulebook, it was indeed up to the officials on court. They chose not to apply the Point Penalty Schedule, meaning they deemed it a Major Offence of 'Aggravated Behaviour.' Therefore, default#usopen pic.twitter.com/7kiCtLFFPN — Nick McCarvel (@NickMcCarvel) September 6, 2020
Going by the rules, believes Stubbs
LET ME SAY THIS LOUDLY! Anyone who blames the lines lady for the default of Novak..... STOP! The lady had NOTHING to do with the default! Repeat! Nothing!!! Ok!!!! ITS A RULE! There was NOOOOO WIGGLE ROOM ON THIS! NONE!!
— Rennae Stubbs (@rennaestubbs) September 7, 2020
Nick being Nick, took a jibe at Novak
Swap me for jokers incident. ‘Accidentally hitting the ball kid in the throat’ how many years would I be banned for? — Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) September 6, 2020
Default the right call, says Billie Jean King
Here are my thoughts on the Novak Djokovic default.
First I hope the line judge is okay.
The rule is the rule. It is unfortunate for everyone involved, but in this specific situation the default was the right call. #USOpen
— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) September 6, 2020
Bopanna has a point
The craziest part is if this incident had happened in any other court apart from Ashe or Armstrong, No default would have happened as all other courts have electronic calling and no linesman. #novakdjokovic #USOpen — Rohan Bopanna (@rohanbopanna) September 6, 2020
Novak may not like reading this bit of an old interview today
From 2016 pic.twitter.com/RR09XgSWVk
— Matt Roberts (@MattRobertsTTP) September 6, 2020
As simple as that!
Navratilova calls it a stupid act
Unbelievable what just happened on the court at the @usopen - Novak Djokovic defaulted for inadvertently but stupidly hitting a lineswoman in the throat with a ball and the officials had no choice but to default. Wow…#sad
Glad the woman is ok- we must do better than that.
— Martina Navratilova (@Martina) September 6, 2020
Denis Shapovalov has his say
I asked Denis Shapovalov his thoughts on the Djokovic default considering he had to endure a similar unfortunate situation earlier in his career. It was the only question he would allow on the topic preferring to then focus on tennis. I think his answer was pretty comprehensive. pic.twitter.com/PCG78W5ych — Mike McIntyre (@McIntyreTennis) September 7, 2020
'Disaster of a day'
And if it can make him drop that habit of kicking those balls and bouncing racquets: good. Shoot it out the stadium, Novak. U won't get DQed for hitting the damn sky. https://t.co/xLPw42Wj7t
— Carole Bouchard 💜💛 (@carole_bouchard) September 6, 2020
With inputs from AFP
Tokyo Olympics 2020: Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev urge schedule rethink as tennis stars toil in sweltering heat
World number one Djokovic encountered little resistance from Bolivia's Hugo Dellien in a 6-2, 6-2 first round win, but like many others found the playing conditions particularly demanding.
World number one Djokovic, the undisputed favourite for the men's title in Japan, easily dispatched Bolivia's Hugo Dellien 6-2, 6-2, avoiding a repeat of his first-round exit five years ago in Rio.
World number one Djokovic continued his bid for a calendar Golden Slam by defeating 34th-ranked Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain 6-3, 6-1 to extend his winning run to 21 matches.