Disgusting aftermath of Djokovic disaster
Twenty-four hours ago she was Laura Clark, an anonymous American lineswoman who enjoyed watching tennis and drinking wine.
Today she is public enemy number one in Serbia and - while taking a day off from her duties at the US Open after accidentally being hit in the throat by a stray ball hit in anger by world number one Novak Djokovic - having the death of her son mocked by angry tennis fans.
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The ugly aftermath of the unfortunate incident which left Clark struggling to breathe and Djokovic's attempt to win an 18th grand slam in tatters has been revealed in a disgusting look for the sport.
In his Instagram apology on Monday, Djokovic said he was "extremely sorry to have caused her such distress" but was not revealing Clark's name "to respect her privacy".
The US Open was also reluctant to expose her, but a Serbian tabloid reportedly shared her Instagram handle with sickening consequences.
Almost every single one of Clark's posts have been bombarded with shameful messages, calling her "sick" and an "alcoholic".
"I hope you rot in hell for this," one user wrote. "Hell hath no fury like Djokovic's fans scorned. But no matter, you can be assured that one day karma will come for you. You were the reason the US Open disqualified the best tennis player. Novak, I hope you realise she was faking the injury all along."
On a post dedicated to her late son Josh, who died aged 25 in a bicycle accident in 2008, a user with a photograph of Djokovic as his profile wrote: "Don't worry you'll join him soon."
Another added: "hahahahahahahaha YEEEEES, YEEEEEEEES."
The New York post reports Clark is resting comfortably at a hotel and is under observation by the tournament doctor. She will return to work when she and the doctor deem it appropriate, a source told the newspaper.
The Kentucky-based official previously spoke about the pressures of her role in an interview with Owensboro Living in 2014.
"You have to have really good eyes, stamina, be able to stand on your feet a lot and you have to have really thick skin - not only thick skin, but a lot of confidence in yourself," Clark said. "Without that, you're going to be eaten alive."
"The only times we are seen by the people are during our mess-ups. Period," she added.
"The first time you are on a big court it is terrifying, and it is the coolest, most terrifying experience in the whole world. You are shaking so hard and you're sure they can see you shaking."
She revealed she'd been hit before by a 210km/h serve that busted open her lip.
"I had never learned the technique of move, and it busted my lip totally. That's probably the most memorable because I was brand new."
The United States Tennis Association said Djokovic had been defaulted under the Grand Slam rules for "intentionally hitting a ball dangerously or recklessly within the court or hitting a ball with negligent disregard of the consequences."
The body added that he would lose all ranking points and prize money from the tournament.
Tournament referee Soeren Friemel said Djokovic told him he should not be defaulted because it was unintentional.
Friemel said he agreed there was no intent but that it was a clear-cut case of Djokovic hitting the ball "angrily and recklessly." "She was clearly hurt and in pain. There was no other option," he told reporters.
The Serbian star is one of only a handful of players to be disqualified from a men's singles tournament at a Grand Slam since John McEnroe was infamously tossed from the Australian Open in 1990.
- with wires
Originally published as Disgusting aftermath of Djokovic disaster