US Open: Players express shock, concern on Twitter as Djokovic is disqualified

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on September 07, 2020 Published on September 07, 2020

Novak Djokovic   -  AP

Professional tennis players have taken to the social media to share their opinion on Novak Djokovic being disqualified from the US Open.

Djokovic was kicked out of the US open for accidentally hitting a line judge in the throat with a tennis ball during a match on Sunday.

This put an end to the tennis champion’s bid for his 18th Grand Slam title and a 29-match winning streak.

He then issued an apology on social media.

“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 wrong,” he wrote.

“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. I apologize to the @usopen tournament and everyone associated for my behaviour. I’m very grateful to my team and family for being my rock support, and my fans for always being there with me. Thank you and I’m so sorry,” he added.

Players expressed their shock and concern on social media.

“Deep breath tennis fans. See you tomorrow,” wrote Patrick John McEnroe, a former American tennis player on Twitter.

“Alex Corretja Former French open Finalist tweeted, “I'm still stumped by Djokovic! (translated from Spanish).”

“For all that it entails!” he added.

Djokovic left the tournament venue without speaking to the media. While many came in support of the player, some also believed that he should have spoken to the media before leaving.

Greg Rusedski, former British and Canadian tennis player wrote, “Unbelievable that @DjokerNole has been defaulted. This was the correct decision under the rules regardless of intent or not. Novak should have stayed for the press conference & apologise. We must take responsibility for our actions no matter how difficult the situation is.”

Few fans and players also spoke about the decision to kick Djokovic out of the US Open.

“Swap me for jokers incident. ‘Accidentally hitting the ball kid in the throat’ how many years would I be banned for?5? 10?20?” tweeted Nicholas Hilmy Kyrgios, an Australian professional tennis player.”

Right call

However, a majority of players believed that rules must be followed, hence the decision was the right call.

“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,” tweeted Billie Jean King, former tennis player and a 12 times Grand Slam Champion.

“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,” wrote Martina Navratilova, a former American professional tennis player and coach.

“RULES ARE RULES! @usopen | #USOpen #Djokovic,” Nicolas Kiefer, a former German professional tennis player tweeted.

“Almost every high-performance player I train does what Novak did in firing the ball. I tell them to stop it, and break the habit for this exact reason, they eventually hit someone and it won't be good. Yes, Novak deserved it,” Tim Mayotte, a former coach and player wrote.

The US Tennis Association further issued a statement clarifying the decision stating that Djokovic was defaulted “in accordance with the Grand Slam rulebook, following his actions of intentionally hitting a ball dangerously or recklessly within the court or hitting a ball with negligent disregard of the consequences.”

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Published on September 07, 2020
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