Novak Djokovic accuses Wimbledon crowd of 'disrespect' after beating Holger Rune, advancing to quarterfinals


Novak Djokovic advanced to the quarterfinals of Wimbledon before taking aim at sections of the Centre Court crowd for what he called “disrespect” towards him during his match with Holger Rune.

The seven-time champion cruised through in straight sets 6-3 6-4 6-2 in what was expected to be a tough test against the world No 15 to reach the last eight.

A dialled in crowd threw their support behind the Norwegian with the traditional ‘Ruuuuuuune’ chant heard throughout.

Djokovic appeared to hear those as boos towards him and mimicked them when interviewed on court after the match.

Asked whether he enjoyed the interaction with the fans at SW19, Djokovic replied: “Well, to all the fans that have respect and have stayed here tonight, thank you very much from the bottom of my heart. I appreciate it.

“And to all those people who have chosen to disrespect the player, in this case me, have a goooooood night. Goooooood night, gooooood night. Very good night. Yep.”

It is not the first time Djokovic has taken this stance with the pair’s match at the 2021 US Open soundtracked by similar fan support and subsequent reaction from the Serb.

Put to him that the supporters were merely commenting on Rune rather than showing disrespect towards him, Djokovic interrupted.

“They were they were they were. I don’t need to accept it. No no no,” he said cutting across the questioning.

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Djokovic criticized sections of the crowd after the match (Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

“I know they were cheering for Rune, but that’s an excuse to also boo. I know that, listen, I’ve been on the tour for more than 20 years. I know all the tricks, I know how it works — it’s fine it’s fine, it’s okay.

“I focus on the respectful people, that have respect, that pay the ticket price to come and watch tonight, and love tennis. And love tennis, and appreciate the effort that the players put in here. I played in much more hostile environments. Trust me. You guys can’t touch me.”

Djokovic was made to wait until gone 7pm local time before getting on court after Taylor Fritz beat Alexander Zverev in five sets the match previous.

That kind of “tension” isn’t easy for players but Djokovic was pleased to deliver in “important moments” to progress.

“I’m very pleased,” he said. “I don’t think he has played close to his best, to be honest. It was a tough start for him, he lost all the 12 first points and I think in a way that got to him mentally. And waiting all day to come out on the court too, it’s never easy. The tension is building, every hour that passes. You feel more and more tense, and stressed to get out on the court.

“On my end, I think I’ve done things the right way in the important moments. I stayed solid, I faced a couple of break points when I was serving for the second set and in the third set as well.

“Things could have looked a bit different if I dropped those service games but yeah a very solid performance in the end and very happy to get through in three sets.”

Djokovic next faces Alex de Minaur, the ninth-seeded Australian, on Wednesday.

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(Top photo: Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images)



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