The journey to his eighth Australian Open title was not an easy road for Novak Djokovic. For the first time ever in his career, the Serb bounced back from two sets to one deficit in Grand Slam finals and then pulled off his 17th major crown in four hours.
Besides the feisty game of his opponent Dominic Thiem, the chair umpire Damien Dumusois’ decisions also created an inconvenience for the Serbian ace. While Djokovic was serving at 4-4 (30-15*) in the second set, he was given a time violation warning.
During that point, Novak’s drop shot did not clear the net, consequently, Thiem earned two break points at 4-4 (40-15*). In the subsequent point, the Serb was preparing to release his serve, but before he could toss the ball, the second time-violation was handed to Djokovic. In a consequence, his first serve was annulled and then lost the game and the point at 5-4.
Djokovic disagrees with the chair umpire Dumusois over the second time violation and he mentioned that it was ‘not necessary’.
“I thought that the second violation was not necessary. 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,” Novak Djokovic said.
“These kinds 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,” the Serb added.
After trailing by a break at 5-4, during the changeover, Djokovic exchanged a sarcastic blow with the umpire. Novak touched his foot several times and out of frustration, he said, “you made yourself famous. Especially with the second one. Great job.”
Later in the post-match press conference, Djokovic clarified that it was a friendly gesture from him, he did not intend to physically abuse the chair umpire.
“For touching his shoe? I mean, I didn’t know that’s completely forbidden and thought it was a nice really friendly touch (smiling). I wasn’t aggressive with him in terms of physical abuse and just couldn’t believe that I got the time violation. It kind of disturbed me. That’s all there is to it,” Novak continued.
At that moment, the chair umpire could have imposed a physical abuse warning over Djokovic, but the umpire Dumusois overlooked Novak’s gesture.
“Verbally we did have some exchanges, but no insults because if I did insult him, I would get a warning. Right now that you tell me that, I want to thank him for not giving me a warning for touching him. That’s all I can say,” Djokovic concluded.
With his Sunday’s win, Novak Djokovic was back on the apex of the ATP Tour. The Serb has spent 276 weeks on the top spot, which is the third-highest total. Roger Federer leads the record of total weeks of World Number one by 310 weeks and followed by Pete Sampras with 286 weeks.