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(Watch) Furious Novak Djokovic lashes out at Wimbledon 2024 centre court crowd for being allegedly 'disrespectful'

Published at :July 10, 2024 at 6:24 PM
Modified at :July 10, 2024 at 6:24 PM
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(Courtesy : Screengrab/Wimbledon)

Aniruddh Seshadri

Former World No. #1, Novak Djokovic, decimated 15th seed Holger Rune in straight sets to proceed to the Wimbledon 2024 quarterfinals. However, there was more to the game for the Serbian, than just a comprehensive win. Throughout the match, he was allegedly met by constant jeering and booing, and subtle claps after a first serve fault.

But, as has been the case so often, the 24-time Grand Slam Champion shut up his haters in style as he never allowed Rune to get a sniff into the game. The Danish was unable to break the 37-year-old’s serve even once!

Following his win, the Serbian had a stern reply to jeering crowd. “To all the fans that have respect and that stayed here tonight: Thank you very much from the bottom of my heart. I appreciate it. And to all those people that have chosen to disrespect the player — in this case, me — have a good night. Good night. Good night. Very Good night,” he said emphasizing the “goo” as if he’s mocking the crowd for booing him.

The on-court interviewer, Rishi Persad, quickly tried to defend the crowd and suggested that they were supporting Rune, but the second seed was having absolutely none of it: “They were. They were. They were. I don’t accept it (on fans being disrespectful). No, no, no. I know they were cheering for Rune, but that’s an excuse to also boo.

“Listen, I’ve been on the tour for more than 20 years, so trust me, I know all the tricks. I know how it works. It’s fine. It’s fine. It’s OK,” Djokovic added.

The 37-year-old then expressed his gratitude towards the tennis fans who had paid for their tickets to watch quality tennis and were respectful. To the rest, here’s what he had to say: “I’ve played in much more hostile environments, trust me. You guys can’t touch me.

Also Read: Alex de Minaur withdraws from Wimbledon 2024, Novak Djokovic through to semis

Djokovic, a seven-time champion at Wimbledon, also said that he was forced to respond as a certain section of the supporters crossed the boundary. Speaking about what Wimbledon could do to avoid such situations in future, he said at the post-match press conference, “Look. I don’t know what they (Wimbledon) can do about it at those moments. The crowd pay for their tickets and have a right to cheer how they want to cheer.

“How they choose to behave or support the players is up to them. You could argue the chair umpire can step in and calm them down, but there is not much you can do. You can’t take out a section of the stadium for misbehaving. One of the reasons the tournament is so recognized is because of the fans. I respect that and acknowledge that.”

Speaking about his opponent, the Serbian showered praise on the 21-year-old Rune and went on to say that the Danish reminds him of his younger self: “I get along very well with him. He is a very nice guy, always has been to me and my team. I try to be available for him for any advice, practice or guidance. I remember him since he was very young. His game style is very similar to mine”.

It’s fair to say that the hostility of the crowd will persist as the tournament approaches its decisive phase. Djokovic was next set to face Australian Alex de Minaur in the Wimbledon 2024 quarter-final, but the Australian withdrew hours before the match due to a hip problem.

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