The number one tennis player in the world, Serbia's Novak Djokovic, was disqualified from the U.S. Open tournament Sunday afternoon for hitting a tennis ball into the throat of a court-side official.
As noted by Dov Kleiman, the move seemed to be completely unintentional, with Djokovic immediately offering condolences and expressing concern.
The U.S. Tennis Association released a statement explaining the decision to "default" Djokovic from the tournament, costing him at minimum $250,000 in earnings. Had he won Sunday's match, he would have been guaranteed at least $425,000 from the tournament.
"In accordance with the Grand Slam rulebook, following his actions of intentionally hitting a ball dangerously or recklessly within the court or hitting a ball with negligent disregard of the consequences, the US Open tournament referee defaulted Novak Djokovic from the 2020 US Open. Because he was defaulted, Djokovic will lose all ranking points earned at the US Open and will be fined the prize money won at the tournament in addition to any or all fines levied with respect to the offending incident," the USTA stated.
The injured woman official was helped to her feet where she walked off the court to be seen by a tournament doctor.