The US Open line judge hit in the throat with a ball by Novak Djokovic has been subjected to vile online abuse after fans of the world No 1 discovered her Instagram account.

Laura Clark, from Owensboro, Kentucky, was catapulted into the spotlight on Sunday night after Djokovic inadvertently hit her with a stray tennis ball, resulting in him being disqualified from the US Open.

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Clark went down instantly, seemingly in considerable pain, before Djokovic came to check whether she was okay before the match defaulted and the Serbian kicked out of the tournament.

Fans of the world No 1 were quick to take to social media, finding Clark’s public profile and sending thousands of hate-filled messages, including death threats.

In one post, which was dedicated to her late son, a user wrote: ‘Don’t worry, you’ll join him soon’ while another posted: ‘hahahahahahahaha YEEEEES, YEEEEEEEES.’



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