Djokovic's ex-manager says 'no chance' Federer would have been booted

‘Do you think Roger Federer would be kicked out for something like this? No chance!’: Novak Djokovic’s former manager pulls 20-time Grand Slam winner into US Open row after claiming the line judge ‘acted a little’

  • Number one seed Novak Djokovic was disqualified from the US Open on Sunday
  • The Serb accidentally hit a line-judge with a ball and was shockingly defaulted
  • But Djokovic’s ex-manager Niki Pilic says Laura Clark was ‘acting a little’
  • He believes Roger Federer would not have been booted for something similar 

Novak Djokovic’s former manager believes that Roger Federer would not have been disqualified for hitting a line-judge in the same manner that the Serb did at the US Open on Sunday. 

The world number one and favourite for the men’s singles title was kicked out of the tournament after accidentally hitting line-judge Laura Clark with a ball in a moment of anger at the end of the first set. 

Yet Niki Pilic, who used to manage the 33-year-old, believes there is no chance that 20-time Grand Slam champion Federer would have been similarly defaulted and accused Clark of ‘acting a little.’ 

World No 1 Novak Djokovic was disqualified after hitting a line judge at the US Open 

Djokovic inadvertently struck official Laura Clark in the throat on Sunday in the fourth round

Yet Djokovic’s ex-manager believes Roger Federer would have got away with a similar incident 

‘In my opinion, Novak Djokovic accidentally hit the line-judge with the ball,’ Pilic told the Serbian press. 

‘I think he should have been punished with a confiscated game. It is not right to disqualify the first in the world because of this.

‘I believe that the judge also acted a little, I don’t think she was so hurt.

‘Do you think Roger Federer would be kicked out for something like this? No chance. This decision is tendentious.’ 

Pilic’s comments come days after some fans said Federer was not penalised at all for a similar incident at the 2006 Australian Open.  

Djokovic is currently three short of Federer’s record-haul of 20 Grand Slam men’s singles titles

After his first serve was called out, Federer swung his racket behind his back and inadvertently hit a ball boy at the side of the net.

The Swiss star didn’t receive a code violation and the situation was laughed off, by the ball boy also, at the time.

However, fans have since brought that incident back up as they have been comparing it to the Djokovic saga from the past week. 

One fan simply said: ‘If Federer did what Djokovic did he wouldn’t be disqualified. The ATP hates to see Djokovic win.’

Swiss star Federer struck a ball boy accidentally at the Australian Open 14 years ago

Federer swung his racket from behind before hitting the ball boy (circled in yellow) 

The incident involving Federer back in 2006 was laughed off by everyone court-side

Another wrote: ‘I’m not the biggest Djokovic fan but I would 100% agree that there was no anger or malice in that incident. 

‘I can’t believe the extent of his punishment. I also agree that had that been Federer it would have been a totally different outcome.’ 

Yet with Djokovic’s disqualification, the US Open men’s singles draw is wide open ahead of the semi-finals on Friday. 

Pablo Carreno Busta, who was the beneficiary of Djokovic’s default, plays Alexander Zverev, while third seed Daniil Medvedev takes on second seed Dominic Thiem in the second semi-final as all four players bid to win their first major title. 

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