Novak Djokovic accidentally hit another line judge in his French Open quarter-final on Monday – evoking memories of his US Open disqualification earlier this year.
The Serbian world number one was battling Karen Khachanov in the first set of the last-eight contest at Rolland Garros when he attempted to return a ferocious serve from his Russian opponent.
Instead of returning the ball back, Djokovic unintentionally diverted the ball towards the line judge and the ball struck the official in the face.
Novak Djokovic (right) hit another line judge in his French Open last-eight clash on Monday
Djokovic accidentally struck the official while trying to return a serve from Karen Khachanov
Djokovic was disqualified from the US Open last month after he whacked a ball into the throat of line judge Laura Clark at Flushing Meadows after losing a point in the last-16 contest against Pablo Carreno Busta.
The 17-time Grand Slam winner was immediately kicked out of the tournament, as per the rules of the game, though will not face any action after this occasion as the motion of hitting the ball towards the line judge was unintentional.
The Serbian refused to guarantee that an incident similar to one at the US Open will not happen again in his career, though did claim before the French Open that he will be extra cautious regarding his on-court demeanour.
Djokovic said before the tournament: ‘Obviously I am going to be extra careful of hitting a tennis ball around the court. That’s something that is obviously staying in my mind after what happened in New York. It’s going to stay there for a long time.
The world number one was shockingly disqualified for a similar incident at the US Open
Djokovic (right) hit line judge Laura Clark (middle) in a moment of annoyance in New York
‘Of course, I will make sure I don’t make the same mistake twice. But I don’t think that this will have any significant negative impact on how I feel on the tennis court.’
Djokovic is currently search of his 18th Grand Slam title, which would take him within two major tournament wins behind Roger Federer, who is not competing in Paris this year.
However, the Serbian faces stiff competition in tournament favourite Rafael Nadal who is looking to not only equal Federer’s record but also secure his fourth French Open title in a row.
Djokovic is chasing a 18th mens singles Grand Slam title at Rolland Garros this week
Nadal has won the singles title at Rolland Garros a dozen times since his first triumph in 2005, though the Spaniard has a tougher run-in to the final than Djokovic.
Should Nadal beat unseeded Italian Jannik Sinner in the last-eight, then he could face third seed Dominic Thiem who takes on Diego Schwartzman on Tuesday.
Djokovic, meanwhile, could face a reunion with Carreno Busta in the semi-final, who plays Daniel Altmaier on Monday.
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