Australian Open 2020: Novak Djokovic chair umpire video
Novak Djokovic has been warned that he crossed the line when he made contact with the chair umpire during his extraordinary Australian Open meltdown on Sunday night.
The World No. 2 reached out and patted umpire Damien Dumusois’ feet several times as he directed a drive by at the French official as he imploded in a crucial service game in the second set.
The no-nonsense umpire called Djokovic for two delay of game warnings when the Serbian superstar was serving at 4-4 in a tense second set.
The second violation for failing to begin his service motion before the 25-second serve clock had elapsed dramatically caused Djokovic to surrender his first serve when he was serving down two break points.
After Thiem swooped to break before going on to serve out the second set 6-4, Djokovic raged at the chair umpire for the pedantic decision to clamp down on the rules at such a crucial moment in the game.
As Djokovic slumped towards his chair at the end of the game, he gave Dumusois a serve.
“Great job man,” he said sarcastically to Dumusois.
“You made yourself famous, well done, you made your mark on this match.”
Djokovic continued to direct words at the official until he returned to the court for Thiem’s next service game.
Aussie tennis great Todd Woodbridge suggested Djokovic crossed the line by making contact with the umpire, even though it was just a few taps on the foot.
“When he passed the chair umpire he only tapped him on the foot. But, if anything like that happened in AFL you would be in strife,” Woodbridge told Channel 9.
The entire incident left Djokovic completely rattled.
He went on to drop six straight games after the code violations were handed down, only waking up at 4-0 down in the third set.
A clearly seething Djokovic could see it all slipping away and he seemed to direct his emotions at Dumusois.
Despite Djokovic’s rage, many tennis commentators said they were comfortable with the time wasting clamp down.
“I want to be clear that the chair umpire called the time violation because the clock went to zero before Novak went into his motion,” tennis legend Jim Courier told Channel 9.
“It was the correct call fro him to do it.”
Novak Djokovic receives a second time violation and a loss of first serve. Taps the umpire Damien Dumusois’s shoe when he walks past and congratulates him: “You made yourself famous.” Yet another instance of a member of the big three moaning when the rules are merely applied.
— Stuart Fraser (@stu_fraser) February 2, 2020
Just checked the grand slam rulebook and if the rules are strictly applied, touching the umpire would be considered “physical abuse”, and is subject to a fine of up to $20,000. “Physical abuse is the unauthorised touching of an
official, opponent, spectator or other person”.
— Simon Cambers (@scambers73) February 2, 2020
Aussie tennis great Sam Grothe said it was obvious the 32-year-old’s third set implosion was all caused by his anger at the umpire’s decision.
Djokovic appeared all over the place in the third set as he quickened the time in between his serves and how he moved in between points when returning Thiem’s serves.
“He is anxious and that is how he is feeling physically as well,” Grothe told Nine.
“You can see him in the opening set taking short sharp breaths. He is not able to get the oxygen in and he is not functioning properly out here now. It is because he is rushed with the service clock.”
Thiem went on to win the third set in a flash 6-2, after Djokovic needed to take a second break off the court to receive medical treatment.
He also went off the court for a bathroom break at the end of the second set.
Djokovic had only dropped one set in the tournament — in the first round against Jan-Lennard Struff — until the final. He won his previous two finals at Melbourne Park in straight sets.
Fifth-seeded Thiem, a 26-year-old Austrian, is aiming for his first major title after losing the last two finals at the French Open to Rafael Nadal.
Djokovic earlier found himself in a heated running battle with the Australian Open crowd during a heated start to the match.
Djokovic clinched the first set 6-4 in 52 minutes, but his anger towards the crowd saw him erupt and cough up the second set 6-4 to Thiem, levelling the match as it headed into a third set.
After Djokovic raced to a 3-0 lead in the first set, the Melbourne crowd appeared to shift dramatically to support Thiem in the hope of encouraging the Austrian to fight back and make a contest out of the match.
The anger finally boiled over for Djokovic late in the first set when one fan appeared to let out a squeal when a ball appeared to land near the edge of the baseline.
As the rally continued and Djokovic went on to win the point, the No. 2 seed rounded on the fan who let out the noise in the middle of the point and could clearly be seen mouthing the words: “Shut the f*** up”.
Former Aussie tennis player Sam Grothe said in commentary that the crowd only turned on Djokovic after he first turned on them.
Originally published as Djoker scolded for umpire meltdown