Novak Djokovic, an all-star tennis player with many accomplishments, many fans and admirers, and many awards, has recently defaulted himself from the 2020 US Open. On September 6th, 2020, Djokovic was right behind his opponent Pablo Carreno Busta with 6-5. With concentrated anger, he roughly hit a ball down the line after his serve was broken, injuring a linesperson in their trachea, who held their throat in terror as they screamed due to the pain of the ball’s impact. 

He faced a fault in accordance with the Grand Slam rulebook, for “intentionally hitting a ball dangerously or recklessly within the court or hitting a ball with negligent disregard of the consequences”, according to the U.S Tennis Association. Djokovic took to Instagram, expressing his sadness and evaluation as both a tennis player and a person, where fans could feel his sincerity. “This whole situation has left me really sad and empty (…) I need to go back within and work on my disappointment and turn this all into a lesson for my growth and evaluation as a player and a human being.”

Another loss for the Grand Slam was the absence of Nadal and Federer due to the pandemic, other renowned players in the tennis industry. Now, there will be a first-time Grand Slam champion in six years, a large opportunity for remaining and willing players who have played in the shadows of the popular trio for quite some time. Dominic Thiem, and Daniil Medvedev, numbers 2 and 3, as well as No. 5 Alexander Zverev are up on the platform as bids on the champion, are set into stone.

Many tennis fans know the severity of Novak’s actions and the effects of his actions on the Open itself. For the first time in a while, the Slam will have no sight of Djokovic, Federer, or Nadal (other widely known players), some due to the pandemic as well as an obvious default incident. It’s all up for interpretation, how the Slam will go without their favorite players.

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