KEY POINTS

  • Novak Djokovic’s undefeated streak ends after defaulting against Pablo Carreno Busta
  • Vile social media comments were hurled against the lineswoman hit by Djokovic
  • Djokovic shared a message to respect the privacy of the lineswoman

The controversial ending to Novak Djokovic’s match led to severe reactions from fans to the point of death threats hurled at the line umpire accidentally hit by the world number one player's ball. The 17-time Grand Slam champion took to social media to plea with the public to respect her privacy.

The USTA did not want to release her name to the public due to the loathsome comments social media has stirred, per The New York Post.

“Please also remember that the linesperson that was hit by the ball last night needs our community’s support too. She’s done nothing wrong at all. I ask you to stay especially supportive and caring to her during this time,” Djokovic wrote.

It was a 26-game win streak for Djokovic that was snapped when he was disqualified in his match against Pablo Carreno Busta. The top-seeded player was slapped with the offense of ball abuse that resulted in an automatic default for the deliberate hitting, throwing, or kicking the ball that hits a person.

US Open referee Soeren Friemel shared that Djokovic said he did not intend to hit the line umpire.

"His point was that he didn't hit the line umpire intentionally... We all agree that he didn't do it on purpose, but the facts are still that he hit the line umpire and that the line umpire was clearly hurt," Friemel said.

This wasn’t the first time a player defaulted from a match for hitting an official on the court. One of the more recent incidents includes Dennis Shapovalov who accidentally hit the umpire in the face with a ball.

Another instance was from David Nalbandian who kicked the barrier in front of the line judge in the 2012 Queens Final. While this was a more aggressive case, it resulted similarly to immediate disqualification.

"Intent is part of the discussion, but there are two factors: one is the action and [the other] the result. The action, while there was no intent, the result of hitting the line umpire and [her] clearly being hurt is the essential factor in the decision-making process here," Friemel added.

It’s clear that Djokovic meant no harm and is now looking to move forward beyond this issue and stop the senseless actions online.

“From these moments, we grow stronger and rise above. Sharing love with everyone,” Djokovic concluded.

Novak Djokovic of Serbia tends to a lineswoman after inadvertently striking her with a ball hit in frustration during his Men's Singles fourth round match against Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain on Day Seven of the 2020 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King N Novak Djokovic of Serbia tends to a lineswoman after inadvertently striking her with a ball hit in frustration during his Men's Singles fourth round match against Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain on Day Seven of the 2020 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 6, 2020 in the Queens borough of New York City. Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AL BELLO