The female line judge accidentally hit in the throat by a struck ball from Novak Djokvoic was back at work at the U.S. Open on Wednesday.
Wearing a huge black mask and with a ballcap pulled down, Laura Clark took her spot on the baseline for the noon women’s doubles semifinals match on Louis Armstrong Stadium between Taylor Townsend and Asia Muhammad and Nicole Melichar and Xu Yifan.
Clark, who lives in Owensboro, Ky., had taken the last two days to recuperate mentally and physically from the incident and was under observation from the tournament doctor. Djokovic was disqualified from the Open for the incident, and Clark received death threats on her Instagram. Sources said she’s reluctant to make any comments.
Djokovic said on Twitter Tuesday to lay off her.
“Dear #NoleFam thank you for your positive messages,’’ Djokovic said. “Please also remember the linesperson that was hit by the ball last night needs our community’s support too,” he tweeted to his 8.7 million followers. “She’s done nothing wrong at all. I ask you to stay especially supportive and caring to her during this time.”
The U.S. Open paid tribute to Post photographer Anthony Causi, an annual fixture in Flushing Meadows. In April, Causi died from the coronavirus. He was 48. The Open also paid tribute to tennis greats who had passed away in 2020 by showing their images on the big screen at Fountain Plaza across the day.
Causi was remembered along with Angela Buxton, a two-time Grand Slam doubles champion and partner with Althea Gibson; Bob Ryland, the first black professional tennis player and Claire Shulman, the first female Queens Borough President and supporter of the Open being in Queens.
In an All-Russian quarterfinal, third-seeded Daniil Medvedev took out Andrey Rublev 7-6, 6-3, 7-6. Medvedev, the consensus favorite with Djokovic gone, was bothered by a sore shoulder.