Novak Djokovic has been disqualified from this year’s US Open after accidentally hitting a ball at a line judge.
In the fourth-round match, Novak Djokovic, 33 showed his frustration after losing serve to trail 6-5 against Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta.
The Serbian world No 1 took a ball out of his pocket and hit it behind him, striking the female line judge in her throat.
After a lengthy discussion, the top seed at the US Open was defaulted by tournament officials.
The Grand Slam rules state: “Players shall not at any time physically abuse any official, opponent, spectator or other person within the precincts of the tournament site.
“The referee, in consultation with the Grand Slam chief of supervisors may declare a default for either a single violation of this code.”
Novak Djokovic was the heavy favorite to win the men’s singles title at the US Open, which is being played behind closed doors and is the first Grand Slam to take place since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
Going into the match against 20th seed Pablo Carreno Busta, Novak Djokovic had not lost a singles match in 2020.
Novak Djokovic was aiming for an 18th Grand Slam triumph to move closer to rivals Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, who are not playing in New York, in the race to finish with the most men’s major titles of all-time.