Novak Djokovic 'extremely sorry' after US Open disqualification

Reuters  Danielle Parhizkaran Tennis US OPEN

Reuters Danielle Parhizkaran Tennis US OPEN

US Open tournament referee Soeren Friemel has opened up on his decision to default Novak Djokovic for hitting a line umpire with the ball, saying his stature in the game did not come into consideration at any stage.

"This whole situation has left me really sad and empty", he wrote. I checked on the lines person and the tournament told me that thank God she is feeling OK. I am extremely sorry to have caused her such stress. "So unintended. So wrong", he said. I apologize to the US Open Tennis Championships and everyone associated for my behavior.

Djokovic rushed over to check on her before she got up and walked off the court looking dazed.

Former world No. 1 McEnroe, who is friendly with Djokovic, said the 17-time Grand Slam champion compounded problems by blowing off the mandatory post-match press conference today.

Two-time Grand Slam victor Naomi Osaka flung her racket away in frustration after losing a second-set tiebreak against Marta Kostyuk in her third-round match on Friday.

"The line umpire was clearly hurt and in pain, she went to the ground and we had to take care of her". While it's clear this was an accident, Djokovic was disqualified by the US Tennis Association for "dangerous or reckless" actions made "with negligent disregard for the consequences".

One of the most iconic defaults in Grand Slam history saw John McEnroe ousted from the 1990 Australian Open for three code violations. It struck a line judge in the neck, who immediately fell to her knees in distress.

"Intent is part of the discussion but there are two factors, one is the action, and the result".

"We all agreed that he didn't do it on goal but the facts are still that he hit the line umpire and that the line umpire was clearly hurt".

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But McEnroe, whose hot-headed persona during his playing heyday led to him being dubbed "Superbrat", said the 33-year-old buckled under pressure and should embrace the "bad guy" tag that will inevitably be placed on him following the tournament.

Via Ben Rothenberg at the New York Times, he also noted that she was able to get up and didn't need to be taken to the hospital.

The American was seemingly referring to Djokovic's turbulent few months when he was criticised for organising the Adria Tour event in June in which he and several players tested positive for Covid-19.

"Whether he likes it or not, he's going to be the bad guy the rest of his career".

"I think the supervisors and all them are just doing their job, but very unlucky for Novak".

Tennis players throwing rackets and hitting balls away in anger and frustration during matches are regular scenes on the circuit, but those could be a thing of the past after Novak Djokovic's disqualification from the U.S. Open on Sunday.

"He said yes, I was angry, I hit the ball, I hit the line umpire, the facts are very clear, but it wasn't my intent, I didn't do it on goal, so I shouldn't be defaulted for that".

"Accidentally hitting the ball kid in the throat". On more than one occasion in recent years he has been oblivious to the welfare of others in the single-minded pursuit of success.

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