The three-time U.S. Open champion Novak Djokovic was booted from the U.S. Open after accidentally hitting a line umpire with a ball. The ball struck a line umpire, causing the umpire to collapse and gasp for air. The line umpire was observed and treated by USTA Director of Player Medical Services Dr. Brian Daniels. She was moved to Louis Armstrong Stadium, where the officials’ area is located, and is doing OK, according to the USTA. In a statement, the USTA said, “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, the U.S. Open tournament referee defaulted Novak Djokovic from the 2020 U.S. Open.”
Djokovic apologized for the incident Sunday. “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.” The USTA said that Djokovic will lose all ranking points he earned at the Open and will be fined the prize money won at the tournament and could face future fines because of the incident. He now faces a $10,000 fine for the incident. Djokovic will likely face an additional fine for not attending his post-match press conference after he left the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center without taking questions. The Serbian grand slam champion had been the favorite to win the tournament.