US Open: Novak Djokovic defaulted against Pablo Carreno Busta
 Djokovic walks off of Arthur Ashe Stadium after being defaulted from his fourth round match/Photo: Al Bello

In an astonishing turn of events, top seed and world number one Novak Djokovic was defaulted from his fourth round match at the US Open against 20th seed Pablo Carreno Busta late in the first set.

With Carreno Busta holding triple break point, the Spaniard chased down a drop shot that Djokovic hit, returned it past the onrushing Serb and broke to take a 6-5 lead. Walking back to his chair, the world number one fired a ball out of frustration, which struck a line judge.

A discussion ensued with Djokovic pleading his case to tournament officials, but after about ten minutes, the decision was made to default the 17-time major champion. The result sees Carreno Busta reach the quarterfinals in Flushing Meadows for the second time in his career.

World number one booted out of tournament after firing ball at line judge

Djokovic was dominant on his first two service games, dropping just a single point as he took a 2-1 lead. Carreno Busta, the gritty baseliner that he is, was hanging tough and a love hold levelled the set at 3-3. The Spaniard was in trouble on his next service game with Djokovic holding a break point.

A big serve erased the chance and three deuces later, the 20th seed held on. A Djokovic hold to love put him a game away from the set. Little did he know that was about to happen would change the course of tennis history.

The next game saw Djokovic hold triple set point with second serves to look at. Resolute, Carreno Busta saved all three with a mix of deft drop shots and powerful serves to make it 5-5. Trying to chase down a forehand struck into the corner, the Serb fell on his shoulder.

He immediately retreated to his chair to receive treatment from the physio and after a rubdown, play continued. A failed drop shot brought up 0-40 for Carreno Busta. A serve-and-volley point saved the first break chance, but after a good drop shot, the Spaniard chased it down and scooped a forehand for a winner.

US Open medical personnel tend to the line judge who was struck by a ball hit by Djokovic, who looks on in concern/Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images
US Open medical personnel tend to the line judge who was struck by a ball hit by Djokovic, who looks on in concern/Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images

That's when the pivotal moment came. Walking back to his chair without looking, Djokovic fired a ball that hit a line judge who immediately gasped and needed treatment. After a lengthy conversation amongst officials that took 15 minutes, including with the world number one himself, the decision was made to default Djokovic.

 

VAVEL Logo