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Novak Djokovic urges fans to show support for US Open line judge

Novak Djokovic has asked his fans not to abuse the line judge at the centre of his US Open disqualification.

The world number one was thrown out of the New York tournament on Sunday night after he accidentally hit lineswoman Laura Clark with a ball after striking it out of annoyance.

Clark was stood at the back of the court and was struck in the throat as Djokovic showed his frustration during his fourth-round match with Pablo Carreno Busta.

She is reportedly bruised and was heard gasping for air after the incident, but has been targeted by Djokovic’s angry fans online who accused her exaggerating her reaction.

Djokovic tweeted: “Dear #NoleFam thank you for your positive messages.. Please also remember 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.

“From these moments, we grow stronger and we rise above. Sharing love with everyone. Europe here I come.”

Clark was not at the Flushing Meadows site on Monday.

A US Open spokesman said on Monday of the line judge’s condition: “The line umpire who was struck by the ball is resting comfortably in the hotel today and is under the observation of the tournament doctor and will return to work when she and the doctor feel it is appropriate.”

In addition to forfeiting his entire prize money of €250,000 (approximately €212,000), Djokovic has also been fined an additional $10,000 for not attending a mandatory press conference.

Instead, the Serbian quickly left the tournament grounds and posted a carefully crafted apology on Instagram.

View this post on Instagram

This whole situation has left me really sad and empty. I checked on the lines person and the tournament told me that thank God she is feeling ok. I‘m extremely sorry to have caused her such stress. So unintended. So wrong. I’m not disclosing her name to respect her privacy. As for the disqualification, I need to go back within and work on my disappointment and turn this all into a lesson for my growth and evolution as a player and human being. I apologize to the @usopen tournament and everyone associated for my behavior. I’m very grateful to my team and family for being my rock support, and my fans for always being there with me. Thank you and I’m so sorry. Cela ova situacija me čini zaista tužnim i praznim. Proverio sam kako se oseća linijski sudija, i prema informacijama koje sam dobio, oseća se dobro, hvala Bogu. Njeno ime ne mogu da otkrijem zbog očuvanja njene privatnosti. Jako mi je žao što sam joj naneo takav stres. Nije bilo namerno. Bilo je pogrešno. Želim da ovo neprijatno iskustvo, diskvalifikaciju sa turnira, pretvorim u važnu životnu lekciju, kako bih nastavio da rastem i razvijam se kao čovek, ali i teniser. Izvinjavam se organizatorima US Opena. Veoma sam zahvalan svom timu i porodici što mi pružaju snažnu podršku, kao i mojim navijačima jer su uvek uz mene. Hvala vam i žao mi je. Bio je ovo težak dan za sve.

A post shared by Novak Djokovic (@djokernole) on

He said: “This whole situation has left me really sad and empty. I checked on the lines person and the tournament told me that thank God she is feeling OK.

“I‘m extremely sorry to have caused her such stress. So unintended. So wrong.

“As for the disqualification, I need to go back within and work on my disappointment and turn this all into a lesson for my growth and evolution as a player and human being.

“I apologise to the US Open tournament and everyone associated for my behaviour. I’m very grateful to my team and family for being my rock support, and my fans for always being there with me. Thank you and I’m so sorry.”

Source:

www.breakingnews.ie

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