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Novak Djokovic accuses Centre Court crowd of DISRESPECTING him

  • Novak Djokovic was furious after his straight-sets win over Holger Rune
  • He felt the Centre Court crowd were booing him throughout the match 
  • He was informed they were only backing his opponent, but did not accept this 

Novak Djokovic had promised ‘fireworks’ in his fourth round against Holger Rune and, after the match itself failed to produce so much as a sparkler, he grabbed the microphone and aimed a roman candle straight at the Centre Court crowd.

The seven-time champion turned his on-court interview into a rant about what he felt were boos directed at him. It seemed the crowd were simply cheering Ruuuuuuune for his opponent but Djokovic, as he often does, saw things differently.

‘To all the fans that have had respect and stayed here tonight , I thank you from the bottom of my heart and I appreciate it,’ he began. ‘And to all those people that have chosen to disrespect the player – in this case me – have a goooooooood night.’

His rather non-plussed BBC interviewer Rishi Persad said: ‘I am hoping they were just commenting on Rune, and they were not disrespecting you.’

Djokovic was having none of that. ‘They were. They were (disrespecting me),’ he insisted. ‘I am not accepting it. No no no. I know they were cheering for Rune but that’s an excuse to also boo.

Novak Djokovic took aim at the Centre Court crowd on Monday, accusing them of disrespecting him

Novak Djokovic took aim at the Centre Court crowd on Monday, accusing them of disrespecting him

His outburst came after he saw off Holger Rune in straight sets to move into the quarter-finals

His outburst came after he saw off Holger Rune in straight sets to move into the quarter-finals

‘Listen, I have been on the tour for more than 20 years. I know all the tricks. I focus on the respectful people that pay for the ticket, and love tennis and appreciate the players. I played in much more hostile environments, trust me – you guys can’t touch me.’

The 37-year-old seemed to believe some in the crowd were masking boos in the pretence of supporting Rune. To my ears it seemed no different to Lord’s saluting Joe Root after a century.

Rune himself said: ‘I mean, if you don’t know what was happening, probably it sounded like boo. But if we all know what happened, it was my name.’

The tennis felt almost incidental after all that, but for the record Djokovic won 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 and put in by a distance his best display of the Championships so far. Rune was poor, losing the first 12 points of the match and never really recovering.

In Wednesday’s quarter-final, fortunately Djokovic will not face a player with a single-syllable surname containing the letter u or a double o. It will be easy to distinguish between boos for him and support for Taylor Fritz.

Djokovic was annoyed with the Wimbledon crowd throughout the match, and would not accept the explanation from a BBC interviewer that they had only been backing his opponent

Djokovic was annoyed with the Wimbledon crowd throughout the match, and would not accept the explanation from a BBC interviewer that they had only been backing his opponent

The American came from two sets to love down to beat No4 seed Alexander Zverev 4-6, 6-7, 6-4, 7-6, 6-3. That match itself was not free from drama.

Zverev had a long exchange with Fritz at the end of the match and afterwards said he felt some members of the American’s box were ‘a bit over the top’.

During the match Fritz’s influencer girlfriend Morgan Riddle wrote ‘cheer loud ladies’ on social media, and afterwards posted a video with the caption ‘when ur man wins 4 the girls’. Some viewed those posts as references to Zverev’s court case for assaulting his ex-girlfriend, which was settled last month.