Novak Djokovic, the top men’s player in a sport with its share of meltdowns and misbehavior, became the first No. 1 disqualified from a Grand Slam singles tournament after he inadvertently struck a line judge with a ball hit in frustration at the United States Open on Sunday.
Djokovic lost his cool when trailing 5-6 in the first set in the fourth round against Pablo Carreño Busta, having lost several recent points. He had just lost a game while serving after being treated for pain in his left shoulder earlier in the game, giving Carreño Busta the upper hand.
After losing the final point of the game, he pulled a ball from his pocket and smacked it with his racket toward the back of the court. It hit a line judge, standing about 40 feet away, in her throat. She cried out and crumpled to the ground, and Djokovic rushed to her side to check on her condition.