Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic has apologised after he hit a line judge in throat with a ball, leading to his disqualification from the US Open.
Djokovic, the world number one, was seeking his 18th Grand Slam title when he was disqualified during the fourth-round where he was playing Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta yesterday, September 6.
“I‘m extremely sorry to have caused her such stress. So unintended. So wrong.”– Novak Djokovic
The incident happened after the 33-year-old dropped a game after which he angrily hit a ball behind him, hitting the judge who fell to her knees and reached for her throat.
After a 10-minute discussion, during which Djokovic tried to convince the tournament referee that it wasn’t intentional. Though the referee agreed it was an accident, Djokovic was disqualified, forfeiting the US$250,000 he would have received for making it to the quarter-final.
In an apology shared to social media, he said he was “sad and empty”, adding that he checked on the line judge and she was “feeling ok”.
“I‘m extremely sorry to have caused her such stress. So unintended. So wrong. I’m not disclosing her name to respect her privacy. 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,” the statement continued.