Novak Djokovic’s disqualification from the US Open may come back to haunt him after comments he made about the subject several years ago.
The world No. 1 sensationally defaulted from his fourth round match with Pablo Carreno Busta on Sunday after hitting a line judge in frustration with a tennis ball.
Djokovic, a 17-time Grand Slam champion, was disqualified from the tournament after lengthy on court discussions and a new Grand Slam winner will now be crowned next weekend.
Players getting defaulted is an incredible rare event in tennis, with only a handful of similar incidents occurring in recent times.
Tim Henman and David Nalbandian have been the most high profile players to forfeit a match, but for the best player in the world to do it is unprecedented.
And although this has never happened to the 33-year-old before, he has had some near misses throughout his career that were close to the bone.
One such near miss happened in 2016, where he smashed a ball in anger on a couple of occasions, namely one time at the French Open.
In his quarter-final match against Tomas Berdych, Djokovic, missing a point in the third set, threw his racquet onto the court in anger.
That racquet went towards a line judge, narrowly missing him as it hit a wall on Court Philippe Chartrier.
While nobody was hit and subsequently Djokovic was allowed to continue the match, he was asked about the outburst in a post-match interview at a later event.
Asked whether it concerned him that one day he could be disqualified of doing something of a similar nature, the Serb replied: “You guys are unbelievable.
“Because you’re always picking these kind of things.”
Djokovic then went on to rant to the journalist about something that might happen but never has.
The journalist continued :“If that ball had hit a spectator, it could have been serious.”
Djokovic replied: “It could have been, yes. It could have snowed in the O2 Arena, as well, but it didn’t.
“It is not an issue for me. It’s not the first time I did it.”
Djokovic started out his early tennis career with people questioning his temperament, but as the years have gone on he has been much improved.
And while nobody will suggest that he intentionally hit the ball at the line judge in New York on Sunday, he may now be forced to eat his own words somewhat.
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