Alexander Zverev was "in shock" after Novak Djokovic was defaulted at the US Open on Sunday.

World number one Djokovic was stunningly disqualified after hitting a linesperson with a ball during his last-16 clash with Pablo Carreno Busta.

It means there will be a first-time grand slam champion in the men's draw, with Zverev among the contenders at Flushing Meadows.

Speaking after his 6-2 6-2 6-1 thrashing of Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, the German fifth seed was in disbelief to see Djokovic exit in such a manner.

"I don't think I have ever gotten defaulted yet in my career or in my life. No, I haven't been in a situation like that. But as I said, it's very unlucky, very unfortunate," Zverev told a news conference.

"The decision was made I think by the supervisors, and as I said, they are just doing their job. There is nothing much else I can say to that. I don't know. I mean, I don't know what to say. I'm a little bit in shock right now, to be honest."

Zverev will face either Croatian 27th seed Borna Coric or Australian Jordan Thompson in the quarter-finals.

A semi-finalist at the Australian Open this year, Zverev said he was excited by the men's draw in New York.

"There's going to be a new grand slam champion. That's all I know right now. There's no past grand slam champions left in the draw," he said.

"It's going to be one of the young guys, I think, if you count Dominic Thiem as a young guy, as well. He obviously has a chance to win, as well.

"Now it gets interesting. Now I think is the time where it gets really interesting. Yeah. I know who is where in the draw. I know who I can play. I know who the rest of the guys can play. Yeah. We'll see where we go from here."

Pablo Carreno Busta described Novak Djokovic's disqualification from the US Open for hitting a lineswoman with a ball as "bad luck". 

Djokovic was defaulted from the fourth-round clash at Flushing Meadows after reacting to being broken by Carreno Busta by hitting a spare ball away in disgust.

The ball struck the line judge who was audibly left gasping for air, with Djokovic joining another line official in coming to her assistance.

Djokovic pleaded his case to tournament officials but was eliminated from the tournament and will forfeit all ranking points and prize money gained from progressing to the last 16.

Carreno Busta, meanwhile, can now prepare for a last-eight meeting with either David Goffin or Denis Shapovalov.

"It's just a moment, I broke him the serve, he throw the ball," Carreno Busta said of the incident in a post-match media conference.

"I think it was bad luck. You cannot do this but of course I think Novak never want to hit the line umpire.

"The rules are the rules. I think both the referee and the supervisor do the right thing."

Djokovic did not make himself available for any post-match media commitments and reportedly left the site at Flushing Meadows.

Novak Djokovic's latest opportunity to close in on Roger Federer's record for the most grand slams won by a male player ended in remarkable circumstances at the US Open on Sunday.

With Federer and fellow legend Rafael Nadal absent in New York, Djokovic was the overwhelming favourite to move to 18 majors – just two shy of the Swiss great.

But Djokovic was defaulted in his fourth-round match against Pablo Carreno Busta after hitting a linesperson with a ball.

The Serbian, who had just dropped serve to fall 6-5 down in the first set, immediately apologised and another judge came over to help the woman who audibly gasped for air.

Below we take a look at some of the most famous examples of players being defaulted on the ATP Tour.

 

John McEnroe - January 1990

McEnroe was playing the relatively unknown Swede Mikael Pernfors in the fourth round of the Australian Open but saw his tournament come to an end after three separate code violations. The then-world number one received his first for intimidating a linesperson, the second for racket abuse and his third for swearing at the umpire and the tournament referee. McEnroe was leading two sets to one at the time, wasting an opportunity to win a trophy he never managed to lift.

Tim Henman - June 1995

Wimbledon's cult hero Henman and doubles partner Jeremy Bates became the first players in the Open Era to be defaulted from the tournament after he accidentally fired a ball into the head of a ball-girl. Their doubles match with Jeff Tarango and Henrik Holm was in a fourth-set tie-break with Henman and Bates up two sets to one, and a disbelieving crowd booed the decision as the players were forced to leave Court 14.

Stefan Koubek - June 2000, October 2007 and June 2010

Djokovic at least cannot yet be grouped with Koubek, who was remarkably disqualified from the main draw three times in his tennis career. In the 2000 French Open he threw his racket and it hit a ballboy, and he had already received three warnings during the match. Seven years later Koubek was the subject of a straightforward default for using abusive language to Metz tournament supervisor Thomas Karlberg, although he protested the insult was "out of the situation and not against Karlberg personally". In 2010, the same man was sensationally disqualified from an Austria League match for grabbing opponent Daniel Kollerer by the throat at the changeover.

David Nalbandian - June 2012

Nalbandian's default cost him the title at Queen's Club, with his remarkable misdemeanour coming in the 2012 final against Marin Cilic. After losing a point, Nalbandian angrily kicked a nearby advertising board, hitting the linesperson sat behind it in the right leg. Although the player quickly sought to apologise, the injured man hopped around pointing at his bloody shin. "I'm very sorry," Nalbandian said, before adding to boos: "Sometimes we feel a lot of pressure from the ATP to play a lot of tournaments."

Denis Shapovalov – February 2017

Now regarded as one of the men's game's best emerging talents, Shapovalov had a moment to forget during a Davis Cup tie for Canada against the United Kingdom while aged 17 over three years ago. After dropping serve to trail Kyle Edmund 6-3 6-4 2-1, Shapovalov smashed the ball in annoyance and struck French umpire Arnaud Gabas in the eye. He later described himself as "incredibly ashamed and embarrassed" as the result meant Great Britain won the tie.

Nick Kyrgios – May 2019

One of the most naturally gifted but controversial players on the ATP Tour, it is little surprise to see Kyrgios' name appear on this list. The Australian reacted badly to receiving a game penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct in a second-round clash with Casper Ruud at the Italian Open. Kyrgios kicked out in disgust and launched a chair before walking off as he was disqualified by the umpire.

The decision to default Novak Djokovic from the US Open for hitting a linesperson with the ball was the correct call, according to Billie Jean King.

World number one Djokovic was disqualified during his fourth-round match against Pablo Carreno Busta after dropping serve to trail 6-5 on Sunday.

As he made his way back towards his chair, the Serbian hit a ball towards the back of the court and it connected with a line judge, who audibly gasped for air.

Djokovic went over to assist the woman but, following a lengthy conversation with the match officials, was defaulted for "intentionally hitting a ball dangerously or recklessly within the court or hitting a ball with negligent disregard of the consequences".

The 17-time major champion was the favourite to win the grand slam in New York and his exit leaves the men's singles draw wide open.

King wrote on Twitter: "Here are my thoughts on the Novak Djokovic default.

"First, I hope the line judge is okay. The rule is the rule. It is unfortunate for everyone involved, but in this specific situation the default was the right call."

Prior to seeing Carreno Busta break his serve, Djokovic received treatment on his shoulder have failed to convert any of the three set points he engineered in the 10th game.

Daniil Medvedev rolled into the US Open fourth round and he was joined by Dominic Thiem on Saturday.

Russian third seed Medvedev – last year's runner-up – eased past J.J. Wolf in straight sets at Flushing Meadows in New York.

Thiem, who is seeded second for this year's grand slam, ousted 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic.

As for exciting 15th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime, he completed Canadian history.

 

MEDVEDEV CRUISES INTO LAST 16

The Russian produced another dominant performance, beating Wolf 6-3 6-3 6-2 in one hour, 48 minutes.

Medvedev has not lost more than four games in a set through three matches, breaking seven times against his American opponent.

"It's good that I managed to win in three sets and I didn't even have to play [to] 7-5 because six months of not playing tennis, it's not easy to recover from playing five or four-set matches," Medvedev said. "With a day off and just a three-setter to play, I'm feeling good." 

Next up for Medvedev is 2019 Australian Open quarter-finalist Frances Tiafoe, who reached the US Open fourth round for the first time after taking down Marton Fucsovics 6-2 6-3 6-2.

 

 

THIEM OUSTS CILIC

Cilic put up a fight but three-time slam finalist Thiem was too good in a 6-2 6-2 3-6 6-3 victory in the night session.

Thiem hit 38 winners as he moved through to the second week of the US Open for the fifth time in seven appearances.

"I'm not 100 per cent yet. I still have to raise my level if I want to go deeper," Thiem said after two hours, 27 minutes on court. "I'm normally capable of doing this in the Slams [and] hopefully here as well."

 

OH CANADA!

Thiem will meet Auger-Aliassime in the round of 16 after the Canadian sensation dispatched Corentin Moutet 6-1 6-0 6-4.

Two days after eliminating 2012 winner Andy Murray, Auger-Aliassime impressed again as he joined countrymen Denis Shapovalov and Vasek Pospisil in the fourth round – the first time three Canadian players have reached the second week.

The 20-year-old Auger-Aliassime also became the first player born in the 2000s to advance to a grand slam fourth round.

Last year's semi-finalist and sixth seed Matteo Berrettini, 10th seed Andrey Rublev and 21st seed Alex de Minaur also progressed.

Serena Williams recovered from a poor start to defeat a game Sloane Stephens 2-6 6-2 6-2 and book her spot in the fourth round of the US Open on Saturday.

It took time for Williams to get going on Arthur Ashe Stadium as a mixture of poor timing, particularly on the backhand, and fantastic variety from Stephens saw the 2017 champion take a deserved lead.

But Williams, once again attempting to level Margaret Court's overall record of 24 grand slams, remained calm, upped the ante and, by the time she broke for a 4-2 lead in the second, Stephens never looked like recovering.

The third seed, a six-time champion in New York, won 10 of the final 12 games and can now look ahead to for a fourth-round tie with Maria Sakkari.

Early doors it appeared more likely Williams would be preparing her suitcase as the American great's timing on her groundstrokes was left wanting.

Stephens consistently stretched the play wide with Williams' movement nowhere near its peak and a couple of poor backhands set up a double-break 5-2 lead before the opening set was ruthlessly served out to love.

As has so often been the case, though, Williams shook it off and found another gear, triumphing in a 16-shot rally to break for 4-2 before the errors crept into Stephens' game, which had previously been so clean.

In no time the match was level at a set apiece as the momentum shifted wildly into Williams' favour and, although Stephens valiantly fought off three break points, she made the breakthrough when her opponent went long to open up a 3-1 lead in the decider.

From there it was little more than a training exercise for Williams, who wrapped proceedings up in one hour and 43 minutes when Stephens went long from the baseline.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN  

Williams [3] bt Stephens [26] 2-6 6-2 6-2

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS   

Williams – 29/23
Stephens – 25/18

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS   

Williams – 12/3
Stephens – 0/1

BREAK POINTS WON    

Williams – 4/10
Stephens – 2/5

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE   

Williams – 60
Stephens – 79

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE   

Williams – 78/39
Stephens – 60/53

TOTAL POINTS   

Williams – 81
Stephens – 72

Borna Coric and Denis Shapovalov produced incredible comebacks at the US Open, while Novak Djokovic eased into the last 16.

Coric and Shapovalov looked set for third-round exits at Flushing Meadows before fighting back for stunning wins on Friday.

Djokovic, meanwhile, had far fewer problems as he stayed on track for an 18th grand slam title.

There was also drama in New York before Alexander Zverev's third-round victory over Adrian Mannarino.

 

CORIC, SHAPOVALOV IN EPIC COMEBACKS

Coric was staring at an exit before responding to stun Greek fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-7 (2-7) 6-4 4-6 7-5 7-6 (7-4).

Trailing by two sets to one, Coric – the Croatian 27th seed – fell 5-1 behind in the fourth against Tsitsipas on Louis Armstrong Stadium.

However, he saved six match points and won six consecutive games to force a decider.

After another thrilling battle, Coric came from a break down in the fifth set to reach the fourth round of a grand slam for the third time in his career.

Coric will next face Jordan Thompson after the Australian brushed past Mikhail Kukushkin 7-5 6-4 6-1.

Shapovalov also looked set for an exit against American 19th seed Taylor Fritz.

The Canadian 12th seed trailed 5-2 in the fourth set before recovering to win 3-6 6-3 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-2.

Shapovalov incredibly finished with 60 winners and 33 unforced errors to reach the fourth round of a grand slam for the second time in his career.

He will meet David Goffin after the Belgian seventh seed proved too good for Filip Krajinovic 6-1 7-6 (7-5) 6-4.

 

NO DRAMA FOR DJOKOVIC

Djokovic's comfortable run continued with a 6-3 6-3 6-1 win over Jan-Lennard Struff on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The world number one improved to 26-0 in 2020 and he has dropped just one set through his first three rounds in New York.

Djokovic has now made at least the fourth round in his previous 13 appearances at the US Open, where he is a three-time champion.

The Serbian had won all four of his previous meetings with Struff, including twice this year, and he outclassed the German 28th seed again.

Djokovic will next face Pablo Carreno Busta after the Spanish 20th seed eased past Ricardas Berankis 6-4 6-3 6-2.

 

OFF-COURT DRAMA IN NEW YORK

Zverev's clash with Mannarino was delayed after health officials did not want the Frenchman to play.

Mannarino was one of the players put in a "bubble within a bubble" in New York after being in contact with Benoit Paire, who tested positive for coronavirus.

The Frenchman's third-round clash with Zverev was delayed before he was allowed to play, suffering a 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-2 6-2 loss to the German fifth seed.

Zverev moved into the fourth round, where Alejandro Davidovich Fokina awaits.

Davidovich Fokina got past Cameron Norrie 7-6 (7-2) 4-6 6-2 6-1.

Adrian Mannarino revealed health officials told him he should not be allowed to face Alexander Zverev at the US Open before being cleared to play.

Mannarino was one of the players put in a "bubble within a bubble" in New York after being in contact with Benoit Paire, who tested positive for coronavirus.

The Frenchman's third-round clash with Zverev was delayed before he was allowed to play, suffering a 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-2 6-2 loss to the German fifth seed.

Mannarino explained he was ready to go on Friday before officials intervened.

"Well, I was preparing to go on court. Actually, it was like 2.30pm. We knew there was a not before 2.30pm. I was just trying to get ready, warming up with my coach. I was actually ready to go on court. It was 2.30pm or something," he told a news conference.

"The tour manager came to talk to me at this time. He explained me the situation. Obviously, the State Department of Health took over the city actually. The city actually allowed me to play with a new protocol on Sunday. Obviously the state took over this decision to say that I've been exposed to a positive case obviously, so I should be quarantined in my room and not be able to go on the tennis court and play the match.

"They told me they were trying to contact on phone some guys to see if this decision could be changed. Obviously, many efforts have been done. They told me, 'Okay, we decided to put your match not before 5.00pm'. Sascha [Zverev] agreed, which is nice. They told me, 'We're going to have a look at the situation, trying to see if we can get you on court today', which obviously they did.

"Many things might have been happening during this time. I was just trying to get ready. I said myself to be ready to go on court at 5.00pm. I told my coach if anything happens, I give him my phone, I say, 'Just try to see what's going on, I'll let you handle all these things, I'm just going to try to eat something, get ready, focus, just be prepared as if I was going on court at 5.00pm. Let's see if I'm not able to go, then I'm not able to go. But if I'm in a position to be able to play, I just want to be ready'.

"I just want to be thankful to all these people who have been trying to get me on court today. As I say, many efforts have been done. I was able to play my tennis match. I'm pretty happy about that.

"Then I heard actually around 4.30pm or 4.40pm that I've been allowed to go on court today. I needed to be prepared to go at 5.00pm, which I did. Happen what happened. Unfortunately I lost the match. But still, as I said, I'm happy I was on court."

Naomi Osaka survived a test to reach the US Open last 16, while Angelique Kerber and Petra Kvitova also won on Friday.

Osaka, the 2018 champion in New York, was pushed before getting past Ukrainian teenager Marta Kostyuk.

The top half of the women's draw is packed with seeds as Kerber and Kvitova were among those advancing at Flushing Meadows.

Petra Martic, the eighth seed, also booked her spot in the fourth round.

 

OSAKA GETS THROUGH TEST

Osaka, the fourth seed and two-time grand slam winner, battled past Kostyuk 6-3 6-7 (4-7) 6-2.

The Japanese star had 30 winners and 38 unforced errors before advancing in two hours, 33 minutes.

Osaka's left leg was again heavily strapped, but the 22-year-old insisted she was feeling fine.

"I felt like I was moving well," she said. "It could be better, but I think for a three-set match, the amount of movement that I did, and the fact that I felt like I could have kept going if I really needed to is definitely a good sign."

Awaiting Osaka in the fourth round is Anett Kontaveit after the Estonian 14th seed powered past Magda Linette 6-3 6-2.

 

KERBER, KVITOVA KEEP WINNING

For the first time since winning the tournament in 2016, Kerber is into the fourth round.

The German 17th seed was too good for Ann Li 6-3 6-4 in just 76 minutes.

"I came here and I have no idea where I am, to be honest. Still, I mean, I had three good matches, also close matches. Every match was a little bit different," Kerber said.

"But now the second week and the fourth round, I mean, you know, I'm not thinking too much ahead. It's more like I have a day off tomorrow. Then I have the next match. This is more my focus.

"I'm really trying to staying here as well in the bubble, also mentally and getting ready for the next match."

Up next for Kerber is Jennifer Brady, the American 28th seed having recorded a 6-3 6-3 win over Caroline Garcia.

A two-time US Open quarter-finalist, Kvitova advanced after a 6-4 6-3 victory over Jessica Pegula on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

MARTIC CONTINUES RUN

A quarter-finalist at the French Open last year, Martic matched a career best thanks to a 6-3 6-3 win over Varvara Gracheva.

The Croatian is into the fourth round in New York for just the second time, having also achieved the feat last year.

She will meet Yulia Putintseva, who overcame Aliaksandra Sasnovich 3-6 6-2 6-1.

Novak Djokovic's comfortable run at the US Open continued with a straight-sets win over Jan-Lennard Struff in the third round.

Chasing an 18th grand slam title, Djokovic was untroubled by Struff in a 6-3 6-3 6-1 win on Arthur Ashe Stadium on Friday.

The world number one improved to 26-0 in 2020 and he has dropped just one set through his first three rounds in New York.

Djokovic has now made at least the fourth round in his previous 13 appearances at the US Open, where he is a three-time champion.

The Serbian had won all four of his previous meetings with Struff, including twice this year, and he outclassed the German 28th seed again.

Struff hung in there in the first set, until the eighth game – when Djokovic broke on his way to the opener.

A break in the opening game of the second set put Djokovic further on his way, and he took the Struff serve again to close it out.

Pushed a little to begin the third set, Djokovic landed another break to lead 3-1 and he never looked back on his way to the fourth round.

Awaiting Djokovic in the last 16 is Pablo Carreno Busta, the Spaniard having lost all three of his previous matches against the Serbian.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN

Djokovic [1] bt Struff [28] 6-3 6-3 6-1

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS   

Djokovic – 34/23
Struff – 23/32

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS   

Djokovic – 4/5
Struff – 8/3

BREAK POINTS WON    

Djokovic – 5/11
Struff – 0/4

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE   

Djokovic – 63
Struff – 58

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE   

Djokovic – 80/57
Struff – 61/44

TOTAL POINTS   

Djokovic – 92
Struff – 64

Andy Murray admitted it will be tough to win another grand slam, saying he was back at "square one" in his career after his US Open exit.

The British three-time major winner was well beaten in the second round on Thursday, falling to Canadian 15th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-2 6-3 6-4.

The tournament in New York marked Murray's first grand-slam singles appearance since the 2019 Australian Open, having faced a career-threatening hip injury.

Murray, 33, said he needed more time after struggling to back up following his stunning comeback win over Yoshihito Nishioka, with the first-round clash going longer than four and a half hours.

"I don't know what I was expecting. The number one priority for me was that my hip was good, and it coped really well with a five-set match, which lots of people, myself included, weren't sure how I was going to do with that and actually coped relatively well the other day against a very tough opponent. So that was positive," he told a news conference.

"I feel like I'm back at square one, having not played in slams for a few years, I need to build up my body and my physical conditioning so that I have the ability to back up five-set matches.

"That takes a bit of time, unfortunately. Well, for me, anyway. Maybe other players it doesn't."

Murray last won a grand slam at Wimbledon in 2016, and he has not been beyond the second round at a major in just three appearances since 2018.

While he accepts winning another major will be difficult, Murray will not stop trying.

"I would say even after tonight, I would say I'm more positive about what I could do in grand slams than I was before I came over here. You guys obviously don't know how I was feeling even just a couple of months ago," he said.

"So like I said, to come over here and play, I played a couple of tough matches in Cincinnati and I played certainly one very tough match here, and my right hip felt good. That's really, really positive.

"There are other things that need to get better, but I would say that I'm more positive now than what I was a couple of months ago, that's for sure.

"In terms of winning grand slams again, that's going to be extremely difficult to do. It was hard enough when I had two normal hips. So it will be difficult, but I'll keep trying, like, why not? Why shouldn't I try my hardest to do that?

"And if I don't, that's all right. But I might as well shoot for the stars. And if I don't – yeah, if I don't get there, then that's all right. But I'm trying my best to get the most out of what my body gives me now."

Serena Williams is a self-described perfectionist and as the American superstar bids to win a record-equalling 24th grand slam, she is trying to silence her inner critic.

Williams advanced to the US Open third round on Thursday after the third seed defeated Margarita Gasparyan 6-2 6-4 behind closed doors at Flushing Meadows in New York.

Yet to win a grand slam since claiming the 2017 Australian Open, having lost four major finals following her last success at Melbourne Park, Williams produced an improved performance against Gasparyan but the former world number one was still not completely satisfied.

With such lofty expectations and pressure growing as she stands on the brink of tying Margaret Court's long-standing record, Williams – who had 16 unforced errors compared to 24 in the opening round – told reporters: "The only thing that gets me flustered is really me, like, because I always feel like I'm not winning every point.

"I have been going back and looking at me and that's not what I normally do. Usually I'm just calm. And I just think with the pressure and everything that I felt, I felt like I just needed to be perfect. I always feel like I'm not perfect unless I'm perfect. That's not a fun way to live your career and live your life.

"So it doesn't matter if I lose 20 points in a row now. I just feel like, it's okay, it's fine, I'm here, and I'm happy. I get to play tennis after all these years. So just looking at it this way – it's nothing really. It's really just me and my mental."

"I think in general I always feel joy when I win. But that's also unrealistic, because you can't win every single match every time, and that's kind of the pressure I put on myself," the 38-year-old continued. "It's just completely unrealistic.

"I had to take a step back and just really say, Okay, Serena, no matter who you are or what you are, no one has ever done that. I mean, I think [unbeaten boxing legend] Floyd Mayweather did, but dang.

"So I guess I could have. But, no, and then I just think how I'm so grateful to be out here and how much fun that I have had, and I just needed to get back into that. Once I realised that, it was a little bit better. It's been a little bit better."

The six-time US Open champion, who will next meet 2017 winner and countrywoman Sloane Stephens, added: "I'm a perfectionist. And I remember some of my earliest memories were going, practising, I must have been, like, two or three or four, maybe four, and I was going to school and doing the alphabet and it wasn't perfect. I just stayed up and kept erasing it until I got it perfect.

"Then I would cry and then I would erase it and redo it and redo it. I remember I woke up the next day and I didn't finish my homework because I kept erasing it. That's been really the story of my life.

"It's so, so crazy because my daughter does the exact same thing… it is just something that's innate, and I just always have done. It's, like, Okay, Serena, stop. Perfection is – only Jesus was perfect, so just stop."

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