Laura Clark, the lineswoman who was accidentally hit in the throat with a tennis ball by Novak Djokovic, is receiving death threats on her social media account. The injury caused to the line judge led to the world number one's disqualification from the during the US Open tournament.
Earlier, while posting an apology on Instagram, Djokovic had refrained from revealing the name of the line judge to safeguard her privacy. Even though the hit was unintentional, Djokovic was removed in accordance with the 'abuse of ball' guidelines followed in Grand Slam.
Laura Clark Is a Keen Tennis Fan
Hailing from Owensboro, Clark is a keen tennis fan who has participated in the junior and college tournaments before officiating the Grand Slam tournaments.
During an interview with Owensboro Living in 2014, Clark had revealed that she was injured after a ball by a 130mph serve hit her on the lips during a tournament in Louisville. "The first time you are on a big court it is terrifying, and it is the coolest, most terrifying experience in the whole world. You are shaking so hard and you're sure they can see you shaking," she had said.
The Sun reported that Clark had once said that even though officiating tennis doesn't make a huge amount of money, she would do it for free.
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.
Clark Faces Fury of Djokovic's Fans
The Grand Slam rulebook clearly outlines that "players shall not at any times physically abuse any official, opponent, spectator or other person within the precincts of the tournament site. Physical abuse is the unauthorized touching of an official, opponent, spectator or other person."
However, despite the rules being followed for Djokovic's ouster, his fans blamed the injured line judge for the same. Due to a number of hate messages left on her profile, Clark changed the settings of her Instagram account to private.
Referring to the death of Clark's son in 2008, one user wrote, "don't worry, you'll be there soon," as other added, "hahahahahahahahaha YEEEEES, YEEEEEEEES."
Commenting on her posts where Clark is seen carrying a wine bottle, many called her an alcoholic and sick. "You can drink gallons of alcohol but not survive a small tennis ball ?? Bad acting. Shameless," wrote a user on Clark's picture.
"Maybe she was drunk on court? Laura Clark," wrote a user on Twitter. "SEE HER PHOTOS FIRST! SHE DIDN'T EVEN BLINK WHEN THE BALL WAS ACCIDENTALLY GOING TOWARDS HER..SHE MUST HAVE BEEN DRUNK! SOMEONE IN THE HOSPITAL SHOULD HAVE ORDERED HER BLOOD TEST! MAYBE SHE SHOULD HAVE BEEN SUSPENDED!" mentioned another user.