Hours after Novak Djokovic was disqualified after accidentally hitting a line judge in the throat with a tennis ball during the US Open, Netizens rolled out a meme fest on social media. The world number one was asked to leave after the court after a lengthy debate with Referee Soeren Friemel and umpire Aurelie Tourte.
The unfortunate incident that dashed Djokovic's hope of winning an 18th Grand Slam title occurred during a match against Spain's Pablo Carreño Busta. Prior to the hit, Djokovic was trailing Busta 6-5 in the first set. An angry Djokovic smacked the tennis ball behind which then flew and hit the female line judge in the throat.
The unnamed line judge immediately dropped to her knees holding her neck as Djokovic and other officials rushed to her aid.
Djokovic Apologizes to Officials and Fans on Instagram
The 33-year-old Serbian kept on pleading and insisting that he didn't hit the line judge intentionally. "She doesn't have to go to the hospital for this. You're going to choose a default in this situation? My career, Grand Slam, centre stage?" Daily Mail quoted Djokovic telling the officials.
However, when his pleas fell deaf on the ears of the officials on account of rules, a disgruntled Djokovic left the venue without addressing the press conference.
Later, taking on Instagram, Djokovic apologized for his behavior. "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," he wrote.
"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," Djokovic ended his lengthy post.
Memes Roll Out to Mock Djokovic's Disqualification
Despite the disqualification being a major setback to Djokovic's career, the netizens went ahead to roll out memes mocking the legendary player's disqualification. Here is a look at some of them: