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Novak Djokovic thrown out of US Open after his ball hits line judge; USTA slaps hefty fine
A ball that Novak Djokovic hit back in anger as he walked to the sideline struck a female line judge in the throat. She fell to the ground. It was not intentional but he has lost his fourth round match. World No 1 was disqualified from US Open for "wrecklessly" and "dangerously" hitting the ball. He issued an apology following his disqualification. The USTA later slapped a fine of $10K and stripped of his $250,000 prize money.

NEW YORK, Sept 7: World No 1 Novak Djokovic was disqualified from the US Open on Sunday after a ball that he hit back in anger as he walked to the sideline struck a female line judge in the throat. He has lost his fourth round match.

The US Tennis Association later on Monday fined Novak Djokovic $10,000 for 'unsportsmanlike conduct.' He was also stripped of his $250,000 prize money. Besides, he faces penalty for not attending the customary press conference.

Novak Djokovic had just had his serve broken by Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta to trail 5-6 in the first set. As he walked to the sideline at the change of ends, in frustration he hit the ball back without looking. Hit by the ball, the line judge collapsed to the ground at the back of the court, screaming in pain.

The Serbian immediately reached her and apologised. The 17-time major title winner stood at the net for some time talking about the incident with the tournament referee Soeren Friemel and others. Soon he took his bags and walked off the court.

The World No 1 was disqualified for "wrecklessly" and "dangerously" hitting the ball. He issued an apology following his disqualification from the US Open. He also forfeited all tournament prize money and ranking points.

He posted his apology on Instagram: "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."

A statement from tournament organisers said: "In accordance with the Grand Slam rulebook... the US Open tournament referee defaulted Novak Djokovic from the 2020 US Open."

Djokovic was the clear favourite to win the 2020 US Open as Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer were absent.

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