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Sorry, not sorry: Djokovic speaks out on patting chair umpire's feet

Sorry, not sorry: Djokovic speaks out on patting chair umpire's feet

Novak Djokovic has apologised for touching the umpire during his Australian Open final match on Sunday night.

The Serb initially defended his decision to tap official Damien Dumusois twice on the foot, describing it as “a nice, really friendly touch”, but expressed his regret on Monday.

“In a professional sport, things happen that obviously you’re not proud of,” Djokovic said.

“Sometimes you do things that you’re not happy with and you go through different emotions, you go through ups and downs.

“Of course, I’m not happy that I touched the chair umpire. And I’m sorry if I offended him or anybody else.

“But in the heat of the battle, some decisions that he makes or some decision that happens just distracts you and sets you off the balance a little bit.”

According to the official grand slam rule book, Djokovic could be charged with a fine of up to AU$30,000 for the action.

“Players shall not at any time physically abuse any official, opponent, spectator or other person within the precincts of the tournament site,” the rules state. “Violation of this section shall subject a player to a fine up to US$20,000 [AU$30,000] for each violation.”

In the post-match press conference, Djokovic said he did not believe he overstepped the mark. “For touching his shoe? I mean, I didn’t know that’s completely forbidden,” he said after securing his 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 against Dominic Thiem.

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