Novak Djokovic was almost disqualified from the French Open after he threw his racket and nearly hit a lines judge

Novak Djokovic advanced to the French Open semifinals on Thursday, beating Tomas Berdych in straight sets, 6-3, 7-5, 6-3.

But early in the third set, Djokovic narrowly avoided disqualification from the tournament when his racket, which he had thrown out of frustration, nearly hit a line umpire behind him. 

Had Djokovic’s racket made physical contact with the umpire (who, it should be noted, avoided the flying object with real grace, almost as though it were a tennis ball), according to professional tennis rules, the world no. 1 would have immediately lost the match. 

Here’s video of the errant toss:

Angry @DjokerNole throw his racquet and almost hit a line judge

Djokovic joga a raquete, quase acerta juiz de linha
— Break Point Brasil (@BreakPointBR) June 2, 2016

Watching the replay, it’s clear that the racket slipped from Djokovic’s hand when he had merely meant to throw it into the ground at his feet. 

Afterwards, Djokovic explained that the racket had indeed slipped. He also admitted that he was lucky not to have hit the umpire.

“I threw a racket on the ground and it slipped and it almost hit the line umpire. I was lucky there.”

In search of his first French Open title, Djokovic will face 22-year-old Dominic Thiem in the semifinals.

Assuming that, at some point over the course of that match, Djokovic feels the need to take out his frustration by throwing his racket, may we humbly suggest that he do so during the changeover, while seated, in order to avoid hitting anyone. 

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