Novak Djokovic signing autographs

Djokovic: ‘I apologise for my US Open behaviour – this situation has left me really sad and empty’

Novak Djokovic has issued a heartfelt apology for the incident that saw him strike a female line judge with a ball, saying it has left him feeling ‘sad and empty’.

The incident happened at the end of the first set of his fourth round clash against Pablo Carreno Busta and saw him immediately defaulted from the tournament.

He left the venue almost immediately without talking to the press, but soon after commented via his own channels.

“This whole situation has left me really sad and empty,” Djokovic said in a statement on Instagram.

“I checked on the lines person and the tournament told me that thank God she is feeling okay. 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 US Open and everyone associated for my behaviour.

“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.”

Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.