Djokovic defaulted from US Open for hitting line judge

After absolutely smashing a ball into the side boards, four points later he whacks one without looking into the back of the court hitting a line judge. Should have been an immediate disqualification, but for some reason there was a 10-15 minute conversation. I’m guessing either because he was the prohibitive favorite or because he currently engaged in starting a players union.

At least they did the right thing in the end.

Wow was that bad luck. He wasn’t aiming for the judge, and hit her right in the throat by accident. If it had gone against the wall, no one would have noticed, since he barely tapped it.

Yes, bad luck in the sense that he wasn’t deliberately hitting at the line judge, but it’s still an unnecessary and careless thing to do. It gave me a nice chance to discuss with my kids about “accidents” when you’ve put yourself in a situation where accidents are predictable.

The rule seems pretty clear-cut, but I don’t blame them for taking some time to discuss it. This completely upends the tournament, so they better be sure about the decision. In any case, it’s all just part of the continued ascension to dominance for Canadian tennis.

It was kind of weird. It wasn’t the kind of crazy whack you sometimes see with anger or frustration. But it was significantly harder than a normal tap back to the ball boy/girl, and obviously in the wrong direction. Maybe it was some kind of brain-fart where he has a visceral inclination to whack it, catches himself because he knows he can’t do that, but doesn’t quite fully correct the contemplated whack it into a tap.

The DQ looks correct, but I understand why there was a delay.

In all the previous instances the default has been immediate. No discussion. The player knows it immediately.

What’s there to discuss. Unless he claims that he’s tapping the ball back to a ball kid, there is NOTHING to discuss. Not with Nolo, not between officials. I’m sure they were trying to find some rationale for not defaulting him, but that’s just so bloody wrong.

No intent, nothing other than irritation at himself and thankfully no serious damage done to the judge but…rules are rules and this one is there for a very obvious reason and there is very little leeway given, quite rightly.

A DQ is the correct decision and I’m sure he’s furious with himself now but that he’ll sleep on it and take a much more concessional tone in the morning.

I’d feel worse if Novak hadn’t proven himself to be an ignorant jerk lately. It was clearly a mistake, but they did follow the rules.

Here are Nadal and Federer right now.

It was so far short of an uncontrolled angry whack that I’m sure this is what they were reviewing. I mean, I looked at it a couple of times to make sure. But yes, it was clearly significantly more than a tap (and obviously in the wrong direction).

So I’m not seeing anything nefarious here. I understand the delay, and they came to the right decision after reviewing it.

I think it was a just decision, it’s just terrible luck for Djokovic. If it had hit the wall, it would have been a warning at worst, I’m sure.

He smashed the ball into the wall much harder a few minutes earlier and didn’t get a warning. Almost any other player would have.

That he should have been given a warning for something else is not relevant to this incident. That’s a different issue. There’s clearly no intent to strike the judge and there was no force behind it to make it negligent on his part. It was a fluke.

the purpose of the rules are to prevent deliberate or negligent behavior. Otherwise every time someone is hit by a ball the person would be disqualified.

It was negligent because it hurt the judge. If he had been more careful, no one would have been struck.

No, that’s not how negligence works. It has to be a negligent act. It looks like he’s trying to send the ball towards the corner where the ball-chaser is. If it hit the ball chaser in the throat it would be still be a fluke.

Fluke and negligent aren’t in conflict. It was a fluke, and it was negligent. If he had been looking where he was hitting, he would have aimed it differently (or not struck the ball at all). By not looking where he was hitting, he was behaving negligently (in a minor but still real way).

Not negligent because it hurt the judge, it was negligent and it hurt the judge. It was negligent because he didn’t look where he was directing the ball.

Yes, that makes sense. I meant that the fact that it hurt the judge proves that it was negligent – it was negligent because it had the chance of hurting someone.

If he taps it toward a ball chaser there is no expectation of negligence if it hits them. there’s no expectation of harm.

the line judge is subjected to 140 mph serves throughout the tournament. This was a tap backwards to clear the ball off the court.

My whole point is that he is getting special treatment. He didn’t receive a warning because he’s THE big name in the tournament. And he was allowed to “plead his case” for the same reason. If he was the 83rd (or even 8th) ranked player, there would have been no discussion. The chair umpire would have told the tournament referee what transpired and immediate default. Any pleading of cases would have been after the fact to determine whether further sanctions applied.

It hurt someone, therefore it was negligent. He should have been looking where he was hitting.

Did you actually watch the incident? You have a very funny definition of tap. Even Novak isn’t claiming that he was returning the ball to the ball kid. If you watch it in full spreed you can clearly see him hitting it in anger. In super-slow mo it looks really slow. Because that’s what slow mo does. It makes things look slow.