It was a bad case of deja vu for world number one Novak Djokovic on Monday, as he hit a line judge with a ball while playing in the French Open. However, this time, it was an accidental ricochet off his racquet while the ball was in play. Hence, no disqualification nor penalty was given.

Djokovic defeated Karen Khachanov in straight sets in the fourth round of the French Open, 6-4,6-3,6-3. The accident took place in the first set, when the ball connected awkwardly with the frame of his racquet and flew straight into a line judge's face.

The official thankfully escaped without any major injury, but he was visibly hurt by the impact. According to the BBC, Djokovic is still concerned about the man's condition. "It was very awkward deja vu. I'm actually trying to find the lines person and see if he's okay because I saw he had a little bit of a bruise, like redness, in that place in the head where the ball hit him."

The Joker pointed out that this is not the first time that this has happened to him and he is hardly the only player who has injured someone when a wayward ball happened to hit someone nearby. "I've seen it a lot when the ball ricochets from the racquet and the frame, hits someone in the stands, or someone that is close to you or a line umpire," he said.

However, he is also aware that because of the US Open incident, this particular accident is a bigger deal than it normally would have been. It may be remembered that the Serb was disqualified from last month's US Open after he swatted a spare ball out of frustration towards the back wall. Unfortunately, the ball accidentally hit a line judge in the throat. Djokovic was immediately disqualified and he was also quick to admit his fault and accept the punishment.

He has since won the Italian Open and is now well into his bid for an 18th Grand Slam title. It is just an unfortunate coincidence that his stray ball hit another official. In yet another twist, he will be facing Pablo Carreno Busta in the French Open quarter-finals, the same opponent that he was facing when he was disqualified in New York. Djokovic will indeed be facing his demons in the coming days. It remains to be seen if he will be able to overcome all of them.

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic qualified for the quarter-finals at a Grand Slam for the 47th time AFP / Anne-Christine POUJOULAT