Novak Djokovic
(Al Bello/Getty Images)

In a shocking development, Novak Djokovic, the #1 overall tennis player in the world, defaulted his fourth-round US Open match.

After failing to capitalize on three straight set points, the Serbian national lost six consecutive points and the game to Spanish opponent Pablo Carreno Bautista. Medics treated Djokovic for an injured shoulder after he had fallen earlier in the match. Frustrated at the game slipping away, Djokovic hit a ball behind him that struck a female line judge in the head/neck area. She fell to the ground in pain for a few minutes before exiting.

Footage of Novak Djokovic’s unfortunate incident.

In the immediate aftermath, Djokovic pleaded his case with the officials on the court. The shot to the line judge was inadvertent, but rules are rules. According to the regulations, Djokovic had to forfeit the match. Djokovic congratulated his opponent and exited the court.

Up to this point, Novak Djokovic was undefeated in 2020 with a 26-0 record. Djokovic’s start was the second-best to an ATP season in 30 years. He had a streak of 29 consecutive matches without a loss. Unfortunately for Djokovic, the streak and unblemished record fall by the wayside after a regrettable display of anger.

There will now be a first-time male Grand Slam singles winner for the first time in six years. Djokovic, Federer, and Nadal were the only players eligible to repeat, and now all are out of contention. Carreno Bautista moves on to the quarterfinal round, where he will face the winner of Denis Shapovalov and David Goffin.