Novak Djokovic

Goran Ivanisevic believes Novak Djokovic was harshly treated at the US Open

Djokovic issued a swift apology, and the reaction from within tennis has been a widespread acceptance that tournament officials had little option but to eject him.

Novak Djokovic checks on the condition of the line judge he accidentally hit (Seth Wenig/AP)

Ivanisevic was sat in the stands and feared the worst straight away, but does not think the punishment fitted the crime.

The former Wimbledon champion told Sport Klub: “I didn’t see it, but I heard the woman below us sigh and I knew right away that was it – goodbye.

Djokovic had been an overwhelming favourite to win an 18th grand-slam title, which would have brought him within two of Roger Federer’s all-time record.

He had his first practice in Rome on Friday ahead of next week’s tournament, while the French Open begins on September 27.

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