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.

17 PHOTOS
Novak Djokovic disqualified at US Open
See Gallery
Novak Djokovic disqualified at US Open
Sep 6, 2020; Flushing Meadows, New York, USA; Novak Djokovic of Serbia and a tournament official tend to a linesperson who was struck with a ball by Djokovic against Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain (not pictured) on day seven of the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA
Sep 6, 2020; Flushing Meadows, New York, USA; Novak Djokovic of Serbia and a tournament official tend to a linesperson who was struck with a ball by Djokovic against Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain (not pictured) on day seven of the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA
Sep 6, 2020; Flushing Meadows, New York, USA; Novak Djokovic of Serbia and a tournament official tend to a linesperson who was struck with a ball by Djokovic against Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain (not pictured) on day seven of the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA
Sep 6, 2020; Flushing Meadows, New York, USA; Novak Djokovic of Serbia discusses with a tournament official after being defaulted for striking a lines person with a ball against Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain (not pictured) on day seven of the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA
Sep 6, 2020; Flushing Meadows, New York, USA; Novak Djokovic of Serbia discusses with a tournament official after being defaulted for striking a lines person with a ball against Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain (not pictured) on day seven of the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA
Sep 6, 2020; Flushing Meadows, New York, USA; Novak Djokovic of Serbia discusses with a tournament official after being defaulted for striking a lines person with a ball against Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain (not pictured) on day seven of the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA
Sep 6, 2020; Flushing Meadows, New York, USA; Novak Djokovic of Serbia leaves the court after being defaulted for striking a lines person with a ball against Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain (not pictured) on day seven of the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA
Sep 6, 2020; Flushing Meadows, New York, USA; Novak Djokovic of Serbia shakes hands with Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain after being defaulted for striking a lines person with a ball on day seven of the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA
Sep 6, 2020; Flushing Meadows, New York, USA; Novak Djokovic of Serbia discusses with a tournament official after being defaulted for striking a lines person with a ball against Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain (not pictured) on day seven of the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA
Sep 6, 2020; Flushing Meadows, New York, USA; Novak Djokovic of Serbia hits a forehand against Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain (not pictured) on day seven of the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA
Sep 6, 2020; Flushing Meadows, New York, USA; Novak Djokovic of Serbia discusses with a tournament official after being defaulted for striking a lines person with a ball against Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain (L) on day seven of the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA
Sep 6, 2020; Flushing Meadows, New York, USA; Novak Djokovic of Serbia leaves the court after being defaulted for striking a lines person with a ball against Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain (not pictured) on day seven of the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA
Sep 6, 2020; Flushing Meadows, New York, USA; Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts after losing a point against Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain (not pictured) on day seven of the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 06: Novak Djokovic of Serbia looks on after being defaulted due to inadvertently striking a lineswoman 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 by Al Bello/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 06: Novak Djokovic of Serbia packs his bag to leave the court after being defaulted due to inadvertently striking a lineswoman 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 by Al Bello/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 06: Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain leaves the court after Novak Djokovic of Serbia defaulted after inadvertently striking a lineswoman with a ball hit in frustration during their Men's Singles fourth round match 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. Djokovic was defaulted from the match. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 06: Novak Djokovic of Serbia walks off the court after being defaulted due to inadvertently striking a lineswoman 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 by Al Bello/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

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 US dollars (approximately £190,000), Djokovic has also been fined an additional 10,000 dollars (approximately £7,000) for not attending a mandatory press conference.

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

Read Full Story Click here to comment

FROM OUR PARTNERS