Reuters Photo

Trying to be best version of myself on and off court: Novak Djokovic on US Open 2020 default

Novak Djokovic was disqualified in the fourth round at the US Open 2020 when he hit a ball in frustration which hit a line judge in her throat.



World number one Novak Djokovic says he cannot guarantee he will not make a similar mistake that led to his disqualification at the U.S. Open for striking a line judge with a ball but he remains confident it will not affect his tennis in the future.

The Serb was disqualified in the fourth round in New York when he hit a ball in frustration after dropping serve in the first set against Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta, hitting the line judge in her throat and causing her to fall to the floor.

Djokovic, who had already apologised for the incident, said that he called on the lineswoman to check on her health since the incident at Flushing Meadows.

"I cannot promise or cannot guarantee that I will never ever do anything similar to that in my life," Djokovic told a news conference at the Italian Open on Monday.

"I'm trying to be the best version of myself on the court and off the court and I understand that I have outbursts and this is kind of the personality and the player that I have always been.

"I'm going to take this in as profound as possible for me as a big lesson."
This is what sport is all about. Respect, appreciation and friendship. Regardless of the rivalry these two guys have and the amazing battle they had yesterday, they still showed big heart and inspired many tennis players. Thank you 🙏 both Domi and Sasha for standing strong for your character values and seeing always what matters the most - love and respect for each other. Congratulations to both of you for the great achievement and fantastic match you gave to the tennis world. @domithiem @alexzverev123

Following the incident, the tournament organisers confirmed Djokovic was fined $250,000 -- his prize money for reaching round four. The 33-year-old was also fined an additional $10,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct.

"There was a lot of speculation about whether it was deserved. I accepted it, I moved on," Djokovic added. "Of course I didn't forget about it, I don't think I'll ever forget about it."

The disqualification, however, gave Djokovic more time to regroup before his claycourt opener at this week's Italian Open.

Having won 26 of 27 matches on tour this season, Djokovic remains one of the favourites to win the French Open, which begins on Sept. 27.

"It's great I have a tournament a week or 10 days after it happened because I feel the earlier I get back in competition mode the faster I'll overcome the memory and re-programme it. I'm hoping for the best," said the 17-times Grand Slam winner.