Melbourne: A mother-of-three has rubbished claims she snatched Novak Djokovic's shirt from a teenage girl after he threw it into the crowd following his Australian Open victory, and declared that the sweaty souvenir is hers for the keeping.
Yael Rothschild said she was hurt, and her three daughters very upset, by any suggestion that the apparel she caught had been grabbed from schoolgirl Melissa Cook or that it had even been intended for her.
Cook, 14, had appealed for the return of the Tennis star's shirt that was among garments the celebrating champion tossed into the centre court crowd.
She claimed that Rothschild, who was in the crowd, had snatched it from her.
But Rothschild denied she had snatched her shirt from Melissa.
"When the shirt was thrown, there would have been 20 excited people, all with their hands out," News.com.au quoted the mum as saying.
"After (it had been) thrown, there would have been 19 disappointed people.
"Such is life. I am not sure how you can snatch out of the hands (of) someone sitting three seats away from you with a barrier between the seating," she said.
Rothschild added that she had not seen Cook cry after missing a shirt. he said she thought Melissa had caught other items of clothing tossed by the champion into the crowd after Sunday night's epic final.
"She was seen holding his sweat band, his towel and his shoe - not a bad night's winnings."
Melissa denied this, saying she had taken along items that had been caught by relatives during the 2011 Open.
"And the towel she saw me with wasn't even Djokovic's - it was given to me by an official," Melissa said.