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Djokovic Claims Wimbledon Fans ‘Disrespected’ Him Against Rune

Djokovic Claims Wimbledon Fans 'Disrespected' Him Against Rune

Novak Djokovic has accused Wimbledon fans of “disrespect” after claiming he was booed during his win over Holger Rune on Monday.

The 37-year-old, a seven-time winner at Wimbledon, pursed his lips in the direction of the Centre Court fans after winning a tight second set versus the 21-year-old Dane, en route to a straight sets 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 victory to book his place in the quarter-finals. A bizarre courtside interview followed:

“To all the fans that have respect and stayed here late tonight, thank you very much from the bottom of my heart – I appreciate it,” Djokovic said. “And to all the people that chose to disrespect a great player, in this case me, have a gooooood night.

“I don’t accept it. I know they were cheering for Rune, but that’s an excuse to also boo. I’ve been on the tour for more than 20 years, so trust me, I know all the tricks and how it works. It’s fine. I’ll focus on the respectful people that pay the ticket to come and watch tonight, that love tennis and appreciate the effort that the players put in here.

“I’ve played in much more hostile environments, trust me. You guys can’t touch me.”

Djokovic: I don’t know what Wimbledon can do

When asked in his post-match press conference whether tournament officials should take action against crowd members who step over the line with their behavior, Djokovic added: “I don’t know what Wimbledon can really do about it.

“In those particular moments when it happens, the crowd paid their tickets. They have the right to be there and cheer the way they want to cheer. That’s absolutely something they choose. How they behave or how they choose to support the player is really up to them.

“You could argue maybe a chair umpire or whoever can step in in certain moments and calm them down, but there’s not much you can do. You’re not going to take out the whole section of the crowd or stadium because they’re misbehaving or showing disrespect.

“It’s just the way it is. It’s part of the sport. It’s actually one of the biggest reasons why we are here, why the tournament is so important historically and why we were globally recognized as tennis players, is because of the fans, because of the interest that they put into watching tennis matches, paying tickets, queuing to come. I respect that. I try to acknowledge that.

“I said that on the court. All the true tennis fans that respect players, of course, you’re going to support one player or the other. It’s obviously solely up to them. It’s fully understandable that they have the freedom to choose who they back in the match.

“But if somebody steps over the line, I react. That’s basically what it was. After the match, I said what I said.”

Kyrgios: Fans were not booing Djokovic | ‘He doesn’t need more motivation’

Nick Kyrgios told BBC Sport, “It wasn’t [booing] but I think crowds all around the world need to understand that Novak doesn’t need more of a motive to play better. He’s driven, one of the best players in the world and I’ve seen it time and time again, the crowd try to poke the bear and that’s not what you want to do against Novak.

“He loves it. I try not to poke the bear when I play him… and I really struggle with that. Obviously, it cost me my Wimbledon final. He doesn’t need more of a motive to go out there and prove to someone he is the greatest of all time.”

What’s coming up on Sky Sports Tennis?

In the run-up to the final Grand Slam of 2024 – the US Open – you can watch all of the biggest tennis stars in action live on Sky Sports as they compete across the hard-court season.

  • Hamburg Open (ATP 500) 15-21 July
  • Newport Hall of Fame Open (ATP 250) 15-21 July
  • Swiss Open (ATP 250) 15-21 July
  • Bastad Open (ATP 250) 15-21 July
  • Palermo Ladies Open (WTA 250) 15-21 July
  • Hungarian Grand Prix (WTA 250) 15-21 July
  • Prague Open (WTA 250) 21-26 July

Credit: Sky Sports

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