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Novak Djokovic grovelling apology after furious outburst at umpire: ‘It disturbed me!’

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NOVAK DJOKOVIC issued a grovelling apology after he directed a furious on-court outburst at the chair umpire, unearthed accounts show.

Djokovic, who has been world No 1 for a record 361 weeks, will tomorrow lose his top ranking to Russia’s Daniil Medvedev. Medvedev will be crowned the new world No 1 after Djokovic’s surprise defeat to Jiri Vesely in the quarter finals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship on Thursday. It will be the first time in 18 years a men’s tennis player outside the ‘Big Four’ of Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Djokovic will claim the top ranking.

In January, Djokovic’s decision to remain unvaccinated against coronaviru led to his Australian visa being revoked.

Missing the Australian Open cost the Serbian the chance to win a record 21st Grand Slam, and 2000 ranking points which he had earned as the 2021 champion.

Though undoubtedly one of the greatest tennis players in history, Djokovic’s temperament has occasionally caused him to get on the wrong side of tennis fans.

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During the 2020 Australian Open final against Dominic Thiem the star was forced to issue a grovelling apology for losing his cool

The Serbian was hit with back-to-back time violations for taking more than the allotted 25 seconds to serve.

His second warning cost him a first serve while he was defending a breakpoint.

Djokovic furiously marched past the umpire’s chair and tapped Damien Dumusois’ foot before sarcastically exclaiming: “You made yourself famous in this match. Great job.

“Especially the second one. Great job. You made yourself famous. Well done man.
In the immediate aftermath of the match, which saw Djokovic claim his eighth Australian Open title, the Serbian insisted he had not overstepped the mark.

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He said: “For touching his shoe? I mean, I didn’t know if that’s completely forbidden.

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“I thought it was a nice, really friendly touch. I wasn’t aggressive with him in terms of physical abuse.

“I couldn’t believe that I got a time violation. It kind of disturbed me. That’s all there is to it.”

In the immediate aftermath of the match, which saw Djokovic claim his eighth Australian Open title, the Serbian insisted he had not overstepped the mark.

He said: “For touching his shoe? I mean, I didn’t know if 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 couldn’t believe that I got a time violation. It kind of disturbed me. That’s all there is to it.”

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It is unlikely that the Serbian will be able to regain his No 1 ranking anytime soon given his decision to not get vaccinated for Covid.

Earlier this week the 20-time Grand Slam champion said he still cannot enter the US due to his vaccination status, and as things stand, will not be able to compete at Indian Wells and the Miami Open.

Novak Djokovic

He also told the BBC he would skip the French Open and Wimbledon due to his vaccination status.

He said: “I was never against vaccination. I understand that globally everyone is trying to put a big effort into handling this virus and seeing hopefully an end soon to this virus.

“I understand that not being vaccinated today I’m unable to travel to most of the tournaments at the moment.”

When asked by the BBC’s media editor Amol Rajan if he was willing to forgo the chance of being the most successful tennis player in history, the Serbian replied: “Yes.”

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When asked why he added: “Because the principles of decision making on my body are more important than any title or anything else.

“I’m trying to be in tune with my body as much as I possibly can.