Sunday 17 December 2017

Novak Djokovic: I'll apologise to ball girl after she was left "shaken up"

Novak Djokovic celebrates beating Kevin Anderson
Novak Djokovic celebrates beating Kevin Anderson
Novak Djokovic on his way to victory at Wimbledon over Philipp Kohlschreiber

Reigning Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic says he plans to apologise to a ball girl after he appeared to shout at her during his tense fourth-round win.

The 28-year-old showed his nerves as he had to fight back from two sets down to beat 14th seed Kevin Anderson over two days.

After losing a point when he was 3-2 down in the final set he exploded with anger and seemed to shout "towel" in the ball girl's direction.

When it was claimed that the girl had been left "shaken up", the world number one said: "I'm sorry. There was nothing towards her.

Novak Djokovic celebrates victory over Kevin Anderson during day Seven of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday July 7, 2015. See PA Story TENNIS Wimbledon. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use without prior written consent of the AELTC. Still image use only - no moving images to emulate broadcast. No superimposing or removal of sponsor/ad logos. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Novak Djokovic celebrates victory over Kevin Anderson during day Seven of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday July 7, 2015. See PA Story TENNIS Wimbledon. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use without prior written consent of the AELTC. Still image use only - no moving images to emulate broadcast. No superimposing or removal of sponsor/ad logos. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.

"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."

Read more: Novak Djokovic survives major scare to Wimbledon title defence against Kevin Anderson

Read more: War of words at Wimbledon as Maria Sharapova is accused of 'unsportsmanlike behaviour'

It came after the tie was suspended yesterday due to poor light and delayed for half an hour today due to rain.

Djokovic filmed a video apology in April after he was hit with a code violation at the Miami Open for shouting at a ball boy.

He claimed then that the ball boy had been caught in the crossfire and that he was letting off steam towards his coaching team after losing a set to Andy Murray.

The Serb will face Croatia's Marin Cilic in the quarter-finals tomorrow.

A Wimbledon spokesman said that the Referee's Office is looking into the ball girl incident.

The girl was left "trembling" following the outburst, according to a photographer who witnessed it first hand.

Actor Stephen Fry, Olympic gymnast Louis Smith and his Towie star girlfriend Lucy Mecklenburgh, and tycoon Sir Richard Branson were among the celebrities spotted at the All England Club.

Singer Katherine Jenkins, former Olympic rowing champion Sir Steve Redgrave, actor Jack O'Connell and former chat show host Sir Michael Parkinson watched the action from the Royal Box today.

Members of the 2014 World Cup-winning England women's rugby union squad were also invited to the box on Centre Court.

Earlier Wimbledon joined the rest of the nation for a "poignant" minute's silence to remember the victims of the 7/7 bombings.

Play was delayed so that players, fans and officials could observe the 10th anniversary commemoration at 11.30am.

Spectators on Murray Mound bowed their heads, with even those waiting in the queue to get into the grounds taking part.

Schoolboy James Lloyd, 13, from Stafford, was at SW19 with his aunt Susan Leicester, 56, to watch the action on Centre Court.

He said: "It was poignant, showing respect to those that died and were injured.

"To think that people have died - you think how lucky you are to be alive now."

Lesley Saunders, 72, from Guernsey, was on Murray Mound for the commemoration.

She said: "It brought back visions of that day, I was thinking of the poor people who were left behind.

"I think it's very important that we should remember it because it affected so many people, emotionally as well as through injury and death."

Press Association

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