Novak Djokovic with a lineswoman
Novak Djokovic with a lineswoman
Associated Press

Djokovic, whose ant-vaccine and pro-COVIDiot actions have seen him in the news, was disqualified from the US Open for ‘physical abuse’.

The favourite to win the tournament after Federer and Nadal pulled out, Djokovic had entered the tournament unbeaten with a 23-0 record.

However, Djokovic defaulted after hitting a line judge with a ball he struck towards the back of the court which is perhaps the most expensive mistake in tennis history.

What did the US Open say?

In accordance with the Grand Slam rule book, 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. Because he was defaulted, Djokovic will lose all ranking points earned at the U.S. Open and will be fined the prize money won at the tournament in addition to any or all fines levied with respect to the offending incident.

It fell under the Grand Slam rule boko’s definition of ‘physical abuse’, which states that a player shouldn’t at any time ‘physically abuse any official, opponent, spectator or person within the tournament site’.

What does the rule book say?

Players shall not at any time physically abuse any official, opponent, spectator or other person within the precincts of the tournament site. Violation of this Section shall subject a player to a fine up to $20,000 for each violation. In addition, if such violation occurs during a match (including the warmup), the player shall be penalised in accordance with the Point Penalty Schedule hereinafter set forth. In circumstances that are flagrant and particularly injurious to the success of a tournament, or are singularly egregious, a single violation of this Section shall also constitute the Major Offence of “Aggravated Behaviour” and shall be subject to the additional penalties hereinafter set forth. For the purposes of this Rule, physical abuse is the unauthorised touching of an official, opponent, spectator or other person.

Tim Henman, who was disqualified from Wimbledon in 1995 called it a fair decision. Henman told Amazon Prime: "He was not aiming for the official, but you're responsible for your actions. There was no other consequence. We saw a couple of points earlier when he whacked the ball into the advertising hoardings. He was frustrated."

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