Nick Kyrgios wasted no time weighing in after Novak Djokovic was disqualified from the US Open for hitting a lineswoman in the throat.
Top-seeded Djokovic was defaulted from his fourth-round match at the US Open after he accidentally hit a line judge in the neck with a tennis ball today.
It was a stunning end to Djokovic's bid for an 18th Grand Slam title and his 26-0 start to this season.
Aussie tennis star Kyrgios, a vocal critic of Djokovic, took to Twitter to suggest that he would've copped a big suspension if he did a similar thing.
"Swap me for jokers [Djokovic] incident," Kyrgios wrote on top of the poll.
"Accidentally hitting the ball kid in the throat' how many years would I be banned for?"
Meanwhile, the rest of the tennis world reacted with a mixture of compassion and outrage at Djokovic's sensational blow up.
BBC tennis commentator Gigi Salmon said: "He wasn't looking, he didn't hit it very hard, but it hit the line judge in the throat.
"Unquestionably he should have been defaulted. They shouldn't have discussed it for as long as they did. You cannot do that.
"At your age, at your stage, with what you're trying to do — you know better than anybody in the sport that you do not do that.
"It was accidental, but it doesn't matter. This is your office. It's your place of work."
Rivals and former players reacted with shock after the disqualification. Germany's Alexander Zverev had words of sympathy for Djokovic, describing the disqualification as "very unfortunate".
"He hit a tennis ball. It's very unfortunate that, you know, he hit the line judge, and especially where it hit her," Zverev said.
"There is a rule in place for it. I think the supervisors and all of them are just doing their job. Very unlucky for Novak.
"He's going to be a little bit upset about it. If he would have hit it anywhere else, if it would have landed anywhere else, we are talking about a few inches, he would have been fine."
Former women's world No. 1 Tracy Austin said the disqualification was justified.
"Right call! Stunning to watch this unfold. Hope lines person OK …#crazyturnofevents," Austin wrote on Twitter.
Tennis legend Billie Jean King tweeted: "First I hope the line judge is okay. The rule is the rule. It is unfortunate for everyone involved, but in this specific situation the default was the right call."
Sports Illustrated tennis writer Jon Wertheim said Djokovic deserved to be defaulted for his "indefensible act".
The US Tennis Association released a statement saying Djokovic would be fined all prize money and lose all ranking points earned during the major.
"In accordance with the Grand Slam rulebook, following his actions of intentionally hitting a ball dangerously or recklessly within the court or hitting a ball with negligent disregard of the consequences, the US Open tournament referee defaulted Novak Djokovic from the 2020 US Open," the statement read.
"Because he was defaulted Djokovic will lose all ranking points earned at the US Open and will be fined the prize money won at the tournament in addition to any or all fines levied with respect to the offending incident."
It means Djokovic will lose the $AUD340,000 in prize money pocketed by players who qualify for the fourth round.
DJOKOVIC SAYS SORRY
Nearly three hours after his indiscretion, Djokovic took to Instagram to apologise for his outburst.
"This whole situation has left me really sad and empty. I checked on the lines person and the tournament told me that thank God she is feeling OK," he wrote.
"I'm extremely sorry to have caused her such stress. So unintended. So wrong. I'm not disclosing her name to respect her privacy.
"As for the disqualification, I need to go back within and work on my disappointment and turn this all into a lesson for my growth and evolution as a player and human being. I apologise to the @usopen tournament and everyone associated for my behaviour.
"I'm very grateful to my team and family for being my rock support, and my fans for always being there with me. Thank you and I'm so sorry."
WHAT THE RULES ARE
The "Unsportsmanlike Conduct" section of the grand slam rulebook reads: "Players shall at all times conduct themselves in a sportsmanlike manner and give due regard to the authority of officials and the rights of opponents, spectators and others.
"In circumstances that are flagrant and particularly injurious to the success of the tournament, or are singularly egregious, a single violation of this Section shall also constitute the Major Offence of 'Aggravated Behaviour' and shall be subject to the additional penalties hereinafter set forth.
"For the purposes of this Rule, Unsportsmanlike Conduct is defined as any misconduct by a player that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport."
The grand slam rules also state: "Players shall not at any time physically abuse any official, opponent, spectator or other person within the precincts of the tournament site."
One of the "penalties" on offer includes a default.
"The referee in consultation with the Grand Slam Chief of Supervisors may declare a default for either a single violation of this code or pursuant to the Point Penalty Schedule set out above," the rulebook reads.
"In all cases of default, the decision of the Referee in consultation with the Grand Slam Chief of Supervisors shall be final and unappealable."
As tennis commentator Nick McCarvel pointed out on Twitter, it appears officials determined Djokovic's sin "was a 1. flagrant and 2. injurious action".
Retired ATP Tour vice president Gayle David Bradshaw told the New York Times players can be defaulted for "hitting a ball or throwing a racket without intent to harm" if someone on court is injured.
"In this case, there was no intent, but there was harm, and the officials had no choice but to do what they did," he said.