Novak Djokovic urges fans not to abuse US Open line judge hit by ball

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

The world No 1 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.

  • Djokovic out of US Open for striking ball at line judge
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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.

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. (1/2)

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.”

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