The US Open 2020 crowned Dominic Thiem as the new Grand Slam champion, but the New York Slam will also be remembered for the disqualification of Novak Djokovic. The World number 1, who was the big favorite to win the title, paid a very high price for a jolt of nerves that led him to accidentally hit a line judge with a ball.
The Serbian phenomenon tried in every way to avoid the sanction, but the disqualification was as sensational as it was inevitable. Nole must postpone the appointment with his 18th Grand Slam, which would have allowed him to get closer and closer to eternal rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
After disqualification from the tournament, Djokovic refused to talk to reporters as he left the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center at lightning speed. A choice that met with various criticisms, including that of former British number 1 Greg Rusedski.
Rusedski and Henman on Novak Djokovic
"I'm a little bit disappointed," Greg Rusedski said. "You have to remember this man is the world No 1. Yes it is a very difficult situation being defaulted at a major championship but he should have taken an hour or two hours to reflect on what happened, go into press, take responsibiliy and apologise for the situation.
It is a difficult situation but when you are the No 1 player in the world you have to do the right thing. Novak Djokovic is the guy trying to lead men's tennis and a players association. I hope he makes the decision to come back to the press conference, apologise and explain the situation."
Sitting alongside Rusedski was Tim Henman and he was equally scathing. He said: "There’s no doubt Novak Djokovic made a mistake which was an accident on court. The referee has got the decision absolutely spot on to disqualify him but unfortunately he’s compounded the error.
"He needs to face up to it and apologise and accept he made a mistake. By then in essence running away from it, it’s just going to go on even longer. It’s unfortunate scenes. We wouldn’t want to see the best player in the world go out of the tournament in these circumstances but you have to be responsible for your actions on the court."
Many armchair umpires believe that since Novak Djokovic’s action was unintentional, he should have been spared.