Soeren Friemel, the umpire who expelled the Serbian, assured that the action was unintentional, but that it hurt the linesman.
Novak Djokovic was left in the middle of the hurricane. The Serbian tennis player was the protagonist of an attack with a ball hit to a linesman while she was playing her game against Pablo Carreño Busta for a place in the US Open quarterfinals and was disqualified from the competition. Involuntary action, yes. But rules are rules. And that is what the judges know, who spoke on the subject.
While Nole was harshly singled out and criticized both by colleagues and public opinion after the events, Soeren FriemeHe, referee of the match, came out to calm the waters and assured that the world’s number 1 never meant to hit at the jueza Surelie Tourte.
“We all agreed that he didn’t do it on purpose, but the reality is that hit her in the neck and hurt her“, said the umpire, who also explained that he took into account the speed of the ball to determine the disqualification.
In addition, he commented on what the Serbian said when he approached after speaking with Tuerte and Andreas Egli, Grand Slam supervisor: “He insisted that it was involuntary and that he could not be eliminated from the tournament because of that.”
He also assured that he relied on the regulations to make the decision that has already remained in the great history of world tennis.
“Djokovic hit the judge and it really hurt. It was very important for me to know exactly what had happened and that was what all the parties involved made known to me, “he said.
And he concluded: “The protocol says that I have to speak with Novak and I do it so that he gives me his point of view. What was clear is that he had hit him directly in the neck of the linesman. The decision to expel him was made“.