Novak Djokovic says Wimbledon fans disrespected him with 'excuse to boos'


Novak Djokovic claimed that a section of the audience on Centre Court was using a Holger Rune chant as a reason to boo, adding another twist to his unpredictable relationship with Wimbledon.

Many supporters cheered loudly for the Rune champions and jeered Djokovic's mistakes during their intense match on Monday.

Djokovic, who won with a score of 6-3 6-4 6-2, believed that the crowd was not showing him proper respect.

During the interview with host Rishi Persad, Djokovic explained that there was a deeper reason for the support his opponent was receiving from the crowd.

"I understand that they were supporting Rune, but that's no reason to also jeer," he declared.

"I have been traveling for over two decades. I am familiar with all the techniques."

Djokovic is trying to win his eighth Wimbledon men's championship, which would tie the record. He has reached the final at SW19 nine times in the past.

However, there have been times when his connection with the audience has been tense.

Following Djokovic's victory over Roger Federer in the 2019 final, his previous coach Boris Becker expressed his belief that Djokovic should have received more admiration from the audience, who had predominantly supported his rival.

Two years in the past, Djokovic was jeered when he sent a kiss to fans after winning the semi-final against Briton Cameron Norrie.

On Monday, Djokovic appeared calm and focused throughout most of the match. However, after winning the second set, he did glance at a small group of Rune fans.

He gazed at the enthusiastic fans singing as he stood next to the mic, anticipating his on-court interview.

"I've competed in a lot of unfriendly places, believe me - none of you can faze me,” he declared.

"I want to deeply thank all the fans who have shown respect and stayed with us tonight. Your support means the world to me and I am truly grateful."

Rune believed that the fans' intentions were obvious.

"If you were unaware of the situation, it might have seemed like 'boo'. However, if we are all informed about the incident, it was actually my name," shared the young adult who is 21 years old.

"If he forgot, the situation might seem different to him. I don't believe it had a significant impact on the game."

This is not the first time a famous athlete's name has been shouted out loudly, with the vowels elongated. It has happened before at Wimbledon this past two weeks.

As Sue Barker approached Centre Court to speak with Andy Murray during his tearful farewell on Thursday, she was greeted with loud cheers of 'Suuuuuuuuue'.

When Joe Root was presented to the audience at the beginning of the competition, they greeted him with the familiar cheer that accompanies his successful hits for the England team: 'Rooooooooot.'

Djokovic, set to play against Australian ninth seed Alex de Minaur in the quarter-finals, seemed to find the humor in the situation when the interview was over.

He ended by saying: "For everyone who has chosen to disrespect the player (in this situation, me)... have a fantastic night."

However, during a subsequent interview with BBC Sport, he maintained his position.

"When I believe a group is crossing the boundaries, I respond," he expressed. "I stand by my words and actions during the game."

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