Novak Djokovic

2020 comes for everyone and every sport. Sunday, it came for tennis star Novak Djokovic and the U.S. Open.

Djokovic, the No. 1 seed in the U.S. Open, was playing in the Round of 16 at Arthur Ashe Stadium against 20th-seed Pablo Carreño Busta on Sunday, as he looked to get to the finals and win the tournament for the fourth time. All of that came to a crashing halt when, down 6-5 in the first set, Djokovic hit a ball in frustration in the direction of a line judge behind him. The line judge was not aware the ball was coming and it smacked directly into her throat, sending her to the ground.

The line judge remained on the ground for some time as officials came over to Djokovic. Per BBC, the tennis player started pleading his case as an official let him know that a default was a possibility. He reportedly told the official “You have a game penalty, set penalty, many options.”

However, the rules are the rules and by striking an official, it was an automatic default for the 2018 champion and favorite to win this year’s tournament.

There’s going to be a lot of debate in the coming days about Novak’s intent. You can possibly read into it that he did intentionally mean to hit a ball towards the judge in a moment of anger. However, his reaction, once he realized what was about to happen and did happen, implies that it was very accidental. But as tennis experts say, the rules are the rules.

The meta-commentary for this moment will also be tied to the recent news that Djokovic is leading the charge to create a men’s tennis player union to “represent the interests of male players.”


About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to