Djokovic offers to apologise to upset Wimbledon ballgirl

Tue Jul 7, 2015 1:17pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic promised to apologise to a shaken ball girl for an outburst during his tough five set victory over big-serving South African Kevin Anderson on Tuesday.

The world number one, who had fought back from two sets down on Monday in a match halted by bad light, let rip midway through the tense final set.

Asked about the incident, he expressed surprise and said the anger was aimed at himself, although he appeared to be calling for a towel and gesticulating angrily at the ballgirl.

"I'm sorry. There was nothing towards her," the top seed said after reaching a 25th successive grand slam quarter-final with what he called one of the toughest matches of his Wimbledon career.

"Maybe she was just afraid of my screaming there. I was pretty close to her. I'm definitely going to try to apologise to her if I did something wrong."

Djokovic had to do the same to a ball boy after a similar incident during this year's Miami Open final when he raged in the direction of his entourage in the players' box and snatched away a towel.

Sometimes, the Serb told reporters, he could not hold it all in.


Novak Djokovic of Serbia prepares to serve during his match against Kevin Anderson of South Africa at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, July 7, 2015.                       REUTERS/Henry Browne