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'The lady had NOTHING to do with Novak Djokovic's default' - Rennae Stubbs defends lineswoman

Novak Djokovic hit a lineswoman with the ball during the fourth round of the US Open
Novak Djokovic hit a lineswoman with the ball during the fourth round of the US Open
Vinay Chhabria

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic had to leave the 2020 US Open early because of an unfortunate incident involving him and a lineswoman.

Playing against Pablo Carreno Busta in the pre-quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows, Djokovic angrily hit a ball towards the wall after losing a point. But the ball accidentally ended up hitting a lineswoman and injuring her, so the match referee disqualified the Serb from the match.

The incident has elicited mixed views from experts as well as fans. Some are defending Novak Djokovic, while others are convinced that the decision was right. Most disturbingly, however, there are some who are attacking the unfortunate lineswoman, for supposedly making a big deal out of nothing.

Former World No. 1 doubles player Rennae Stubbs has now come out in support of the lineswoman. The Aussie believes the lady was totally innocent in the matter, and that she should be left alone.

Stubbs posted the following message on her Twitter handle earlier today:

"LET ME SAY THIS LOUDLY! Anyone who blames the lines lady for the default of Novak..... STOP! The lady had NOTHING to do with the default! Repeat! Nothing!!! Ok!!!! ITS A RULE! There was NOOOOO WIGGLE ROOM ON THIS! NONE!!"

Stubbs also went on to question those who were arguing that Novak Djokovic should have been given some leeway since he never intended to hurt the lineswoman. According to the Aussie, the rule is very clear on the matter and there are no 'ifs ands or buts' about the Serb's penalty.

Later, Stubbs turned her attention to a troll who was claiming that the lineswoman was standing out of position and so deserves some part of the blame. She questioned the tennis knowledge of the person making that claim, and even called him a 'dingdong'.

How the world reacted to Novak Djokovic's US Open default

While the Grand Slam rule-book suggests that the officials made the right call to default Novak Djokovic, their decision has sparked a massive debate on social media platforms. The lineswoman in particular has come under the scanner for no fault of her own, with assumptions about her role and behavior flying thick and fast.

Professional athlete Brandon Paul claimed that line judges have the training to dodge even 100+ mph shots. Sharing the video of the incident, he wrote on Twitter that the lady deserved an Oscar for her performance.

Some Twitter users even compared the lady with Brazilian footballer Neymar Jr, who is notorious for his play-acting on the field.

Since Novak Djokovic didn't seem to have hit the ball too hard, there have also been opinions saying that a younger person should have been on the court, working as the line official instead of the lady.

On the other side, the likes of Rennae Stubbs and Billie Jean King have vociferously defended the lady and expressed grief over her injury, besides backing the officials' call to default Djokovic.

What's next for Novak Djokovic after his US Open default?

Novak Djokovic was the overwhelming favorite to win the US Open 2020. But now he will return to Europe with the rest of his team, looking ahead to the clay-court season.

The Internazionali BNL d'Italia 2018 - Day Five
The Internazionali BNL d'Italia 2018 - Day Five

The clay swing of the ATP tour kicks off tomorrow with the Generali Open in Austria. While Djokovic will not participate in that ATP 250 event, he is expected to participate in the Rome Masters next week.


Edited by Musab Abid

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