Novak Djokovic defaulted from his Round 16 match in the US Open after he accidentally hit a lineswoman with a ball that he had thrown in anger following six consecutive points loss. The ball hit the back of the court and struck the woman's head as she fell down on the floor screaming in pain.
The World No. 1 was playing against Pablo Carreno Busta and was faring well until one of the 2017 semi-finalist's balls forced him to change directions and fall on his shoulder.
"There's no way Novak Djokovic can possibly look any worse this year"— Ardit Luciano (@Ardit_Luciano_) September 6, 2020
Djokovic received a medical timeout and came back only to lose the game following which he threw his ball in anger that went and smacked the lineswoman.
The match referee decided that Djokovic would be disqualified from the match, which meant a win for Busta. The 17-time Grand Slam champion's exit from the tournament means that the US Open will have a first-time Grand Slam champion in men’s singles since 2014.
USTA statement on default of Novak Djokovic: pic.twitter.com/dqlt0mokg9— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 6, 2020
In the one set played, Carreno Busta tried to play more aggressively, and he had little trouble holding his serve, as Djokovic made some uncharacteristic unforced errors. The Spaniard even showed off some impressive speed and variety, chasing down and capably returning two drop shots within one point in the second game.
However, Djokovic was holding nicely and in nine games he gave only three points to Busta. At 5-4 with Carreno Busta serving, Djokovic dug in and raced out to a 0-40 lead to grab three set points. Carreno Busta won the next five points, one that was overturned by a challenge, to even the match. Djokovic then went down 0-30 and also fell down on his shoulder in the same game.