Djoker walks into storm over foot manoeuvre
Novak Djokovic has described his controversial physical contact in the Australian Open final with French umpire Damien Dumusois as a "nice, really friendly touch" as the Serb faces a possible fine over the incident.
The eight-time Melbourne Park champion admits he was upset with two consecutive code violations for taking too much time to serve late in the second set.
After dropping serve in the ninth game, Djokovic walked to the umpire's chair, reached up and tapped Dumusois' left foot.
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Just checked the grand slam rulebook and if the rules are strictly applied, touching the umpire would be considered "physical abuse", and is subject to a fine of up to $20,000. "Physical abuse is the unauthorised touching of an— Simon Cambers (@scambers73) February 2, 2020
official, opponent, spectator or other person".
“You made yourself famous. Well done.” -Novak Djokovic blames umpire’s hunger for fame for... the serve clock running out?— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) February 2, 2020
He also touched the umpire’s foot several times. He shouldn’t do that.#AusOpen
The three most reliably crowd-supported players in men’s tennis:— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) February 2, 2020
3) Whoever is playing Djokovic https://t.co/Hd9MBlsvod
Djokovic claimed there was no malice, despite the possibility he can be fined up to $30,000 under grand slam rules which describe physical abuse as "the unauthorised touching of an official, opponent, spectator or other person."
"For touching his shoe?" Djokovic said.
"I mean, I didn't know that's completely forbidden.
"I thought it was a nice really friendly touch. I wasn't aggressive with him in terms of physical abuse.
"I just couldn't believe that I got the time violation. It kind of disturbed me. That's all there is to it.
"Verbally we did have some exchanges, but no insults because if I did insult him, I would get a warning.
"I want to thank him for not giving me a warning for touching him. That's all I can say."
Djokovic said Dumusois' intervention changed the momentum of the match.
"I thought that the second violation was not necessary," Djokovic said.
"The first one, fine, no problem. The second one, it's just not necessary under the circumstances for an experienced chair umpire.
"I thought probably he, in my opinion, could have reacted a little bit better in that situation.
"These kind of things in games switch the momentum of the match. It was a very important game.
"Obviously 4-all, I broke his serve back, got myself back in the second set, then lost that game. He won the second set.
"That completely changed the momentum of the match."