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Novak Djokovic has apologised to the line judge who he struck with a ball that saw him disqualified from the US Open.
The Serbian was taking on Pablo Carreno Busta in his fourth-round match when he was defaulted by match officials.
After a lengthy discussion in which the World No 1 pleaded his case he eventually trudged off the court.
And Djokovic has taken to social media where he apologised and vowed to learn from the experience.
He wrote: "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.
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"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.
"I apologise 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."
Novak Djokovic walked off the US Open court after being defaulted
(Image: SIPA USA/PA Images)
The Serbian's departure from the year's second Grand Slam occurred in a extremely rare manner.
And the United States Tennis Association has moved to justify the decision made by the match officials.
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A statement read: "In accordance with the Grand Slam rulebook, following his actions of intentionally hitting a ball dangerously or recklessly within the court or hitting a ball with negligent disregard of the consequences, the US Open tournament referee defaulted Novak Djokovic from the 2020 US Open.
"Because he was defaulted, Djokovic will lose all ranking points earned at the US Open and will be fined the prize money won at the tournament in addition to any or all fines levied with respect to the offending incident."