The line judge who was hit with a ball from Novak Djokovic at the US Open on Sunday is now receiving death threats as fans found her Instagram account. Laura Clark from Owensboro, Kentucky, made headlines after Djokovic accidentally hit her with a tennis ball, which led to him being disqualified from the tournament. When Clark was hit with the ball, she went down to the ground and seemed to be in pain. Djokovic did check on her to see if she was okay, but officials still made the call to disqualify the No. 1 player in the world, and that's when fans started attacking Clark.
In one post, which was paying tribute to her late son, one fan wrote: "Don't worry, you'll join him soon." Another person saw the post and replied: "hahahahahahahaha YEEEEES, YEEEEEEEES." Clark's son, Josh, died in a motorcycle accident in 2008. He was only 25 years old. According to the Daily Mail, other fans commented on various posts, calling Clark "sick" and an alcoholic.
While a few fans are taking aim at Clark for Djokovic being disqualified, the tennis star is taking full responsibility for his actions. "This whole situation has left me really sad and empty," Djokovic said on Instagram. "I checked on the lines person and the tournament told me that thank God she is feeling ok. I'm extremely sorry to have caused her such stress. So unintended. So wrong. I'm not disclosing her name to respect her privacy. As for the disqualification, I need to go back within and work on my disappointment and turn this all into a lesson for my growth and evolution as a player and human being."
The US Open released a statement on Djokovic being disqualified. "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 consequences, the US Open tournament referee defaulted Novak Djokovic from the 2020 US Open," the statement read. "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."