Tennis: Djokovic seeks out ballgirl to say 'sorry' over towel rant

 Djokovic wipes his face during his match against Kevin Anderson.
Djokovic wipes his face during his match against Kevin Anderson.REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - Novak Djokovic revealed he had personally apologised to the ballgirl on the receiving end of his angry Wimbledon towel rant.

Djokovic, the defending champion, appeared to aggressively shout "towel" at the startled youngster during a tense moment in his five-set fourth round victory over Kevin Anderson on Tuesday.

The world No. 1 was heavily criticised for leaving the ballgirl visibly flustered, but he was quick to make amends as he sought her out to say sorry after his quarter-final win against Marin Cilic on Wednesday.

"I've talked with the girl and she said she didn't mind. We cleared the air. I apologised if it was anything that I did," Djokovic said.

"It was in a moment of a battle. I turned around and screamed. I'm sorry that she was there in that moment. But I think the media made a much bigger deal out of it than it really is. She is completely okay.

"I was a ball kid myself. I respect them. I try to be grateful for what they're doing as well. I try always to chat with them, give them an item that they appreciate as a souvenir, a towel, a wristband or something like this.

"I know how much it means to them."