Novak Djokovic Calls out ‘Disrespect’ from Booing Wimbledon Crowd

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 08: Novak Djokovic of Serbia addresses the crowd on Centre Court fo
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All 24-time Grand Slam singles champion Novak Djokovic wants is a little respect. That’s why he called out some of the Wimbledon Centre Court crowd Monday for using a Holger Rune chant as “an excuse to boo” and frustrate his efforts.

The BBC reports hundreds of fans greeted his opponent Rune’s winners and Djokovic errors, with elongated cries of ‘Ruuuuuuune’ during the pair’s fourth-round match.

Djokovic – a convincing 6-3 6-4 6-2 winner against the Danish challenger- felt sections of the crowd were disrespecting him.

When on-court interviewer Rishi Persad put it to the Serb that they were supporting his opponent, Djokovic hinted there was more to it.

“I know they were cheering for Rune but that’s an excuse to also boo,” he said. “I have been on the tour for more than 20 years. I know all the tricks.”

Djokovic is attempting to win a joint record eighth Wimbledon men’s title, and is a nine-time finalist at SW19.

Novak Djokovic (R) of Serbia greets Holger Rune of Denmark after their Men’s Singles third round match during day eight of The Championships Wimbledon 2024 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 08, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Shi Tang/Getty Images)

As the BBC points out in its report, the crowd has not always been serene when Djokovic is in play.

After he beat Roger Federer in the 2019 final, his former coach Boris Becker said he deserved more respect from a partisan crowd who had mostly sided with his opponent.

And two years ago, Djokovic was booed after he blew a kiss to fans following his semi-final win over Briton Cameron Norrie.

On Monday, Djokovic looked unfazed for much of the match, though after taking the second set he did stare at a pocket of Rune supporters.

He also looked towards chanting fans when standing by the microphone as he waited for his on-court interview and prepared to continue a march to the final to avenge his loss last year.

“I played in much more hostile environments, trust me – you guys can’t touch me,” he said, as the BBC report notes. “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.”

Rune, for his part, dismissed the concerns of his vanquisher.

“If you don’t know what was happening, probably it sounded like ‘boo’. But if we all know what happened, it was my name,” said the 21-year-old.

Djokovic, who will be back on Centre Court on Wednesday against Alex de Minaur, is expected to turn the day’s events into fuel for his next battle.

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