Novak Djokovic pleads with fans to stop abusing line judge involved in US Open disqualification after death threats

NOVAK DJOKOVIC has pleaded with a section of his fan base to stop abusing the lineswoman at the centre of his US Open disqualification.

US tennis line judge Laura Clark was accidentally struck in the throat by the World No.1 during the Last 16 clash in New York.

This resulted in Djokovic, 33, being defaulted from the tournament, ending his unbeaten streak throughout 2020.

However Kentucky-based Clark was targeted by vicious social media trolls on Instagram after her name was leaked by Serbian media.

Angry Djokovic supporters were able to leave hate-fuelled messages below photos on her public profile.

One said she should "rot in hell for this".

It has also been claimed one sick account made reference to her son’s death more than a decade ago.

There is a hardcore element to Djokovic’s support, nicknamed as NoleFam, which can be notoriously aggressive in their insults if they feel their hero has been wronged.

As he jets to Europe for the clay-court season, Djokovic said: “Dear #NoleFam, thank you for your positive messages.

“Please also remember the linesperson that was hit by the ball last night needs our community’s support too. She’s done nothing wrong at all.

“I ask you to stay especially supportive and caring to her during this time.

“From these moments, we grow stronger and we rise above. Sharing love with everyone. Europe here I come.”

A USTA spokesperson said the line umpire is “under the observation of the tournament doctor and will return to work when she and the doctor feel it is appropriate”.

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