Nick Kyrgios gives damning response to Novak Djokovic US Open disqualification
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Nick Kyrgios has suggested he would have been banned for years had he hit a ball at a line judge after Novak Djokovic was disqualified from the US Open.
The Serbian was playing in a fourth-round match when he hit a ball behind him that struck a female official.
Djokovic, who had just lost serve to Spainiard Pablo Carreno Busta, was defaulted by tournament officials.
He was involved in lengthy discussions as he attempted, in vain, to plead his case.
But Kyrgios, who has not been shy of controversy in his career, claimed in a tweet that he would've been dealt with far more harshly.
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He tweeted: "Swap me for jokers incident. ‘Accidentally hitting the ball kid in the throat’ how many years would I be banned for?"
The Australian listed time frames ranging from five years to 20 years.
Djokovic was yet to lose a singles match in 2020 but his exit opens up the year's second Grand Slam.
Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer both chose to bypass the tournament at Flushing Meadows.
It means Dominic Thiem is the top remaining seed as he seeks his first Grand Slam success following several near misses.
Novak Djokovic is out of the US Open following his disqualification
Last year's losing finalists, Russian Daniil Medvedev, will also now be among the favourites to win.
Djokovic's exit, the manner of which is extremely rare, has been explained in a statement from the United States Tennis Association.
It read: "In accordance with the Grand Slam rulebook, following his actions of intentionally hitting a ball dangerously or recklessly within the court or hitting a ball with negligent disregard of the consequences, the US Open tournament referee defaulted Novak Djokovic from the 2020 US Open.
"Because he was defaulted, Djokovic will lose all ranking points earned at the US Open and will be fined the prize money won at the tournament in addition to any or all fines levied with respect to the offending incident."