Novak Djokovic has played professional tennis for 17 years, with 17 grand slam wins to his name. He knows the rules and regulations of the sport well.
Yet, he’s managed to become the first world number one to be disqualified from a Grand Slam singles tournament.
You’ve already heard about Djokovic’s default.
During his US Open match against Pablo Carreno Busta, the Serbian was falling behind 6-5 in the first set.
Upon losing the last point of the game, he grabbed the tennis ball in his pocket and smacked it behind him. He didn’t look where it was going, and the yellow ball hit an unsuspecting line judge directly in her throat. The woman exclaimed as she dropped to the ground and grasped at her neck.
Djokovic saw the lineswoman fall and hurried to her side as help arrived. She removed her mask and looked to be in pain, before she was eventually able to walk off the court.
What ensued was a discussion between Djokovic, the chair umpire Aurelie Tourte, tournament referee Soeren Friemel and grand slam supervisor Andreas Egli.
The 33-year-old tried to defend himself.
“She doesn’t have to go to the hospital for this,” he was heard saying.
“You’re going to choose a default in this situation? My career, grand slam, centre stage?
“If she would have gotten up right away...”
Essentially, if she had reacted differently, he would be able to continue in the competition. Whilst Djokovic clearly did not intend for the ball to hit the lineswoman, he smacked it in a moment of frustration with no consideration for where it would land and then proceeded to shift the blame onto the woman it hit.