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Novak Djokovic Criticizes ‘Disrespectful’ Wimbledon Crowd

Novak Djokovic Criticizes 'Disrespectful' Wimbledon Crowd

Novak Djokovic has accused some of the Centre Court crowd at Wimbledon of using chants for his opponent, Holger Rune, as an excuse to boo him during their fourth-round match. Despite a convincing 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 win over Rune, Djokovic felt the crowd’s behavior was disrespectful.

Hundreds of fans cheered for Rune with elongated cries of “Ruuuuuuu-ne” whenever he hit winners and Djokovic made errors. Djokovic interpreted this as an attempt to mask boos directed at him.

In his on-court interview with Rishi Persad, Djokovic addressed the crowd’s behavior, stating, “I know they were cheering for Rune, but that’s an excuse to also boo. I have been on the tour for more than 20 years. I know all the tricks.”

After the match, Djokovic thanked the respectful fans who stayed to watch, while taking a dig at those he felt were disrespectful: “To all those people who chose to disrespect the player, in this case me, have a good night. Good night, good night.”

Djokovic is aiming to win his eighth Wimbledon men’s title and is a nine-time finalist at SW19. However, his relationship with the Wimbledon crowd has been tumultuous. Notably, after his victory over Roger Federer in the 2019 final, his former coach Boris Becker said Djokovic deserved more respect from a crowd that predominantly supported Federer. In a semi-final match two years ago, Djokovic was booed after blowing a kiss to the fans following his win over Briton Cameron Norrie.

Former Wimbledon finalist Nick Kyrgios weighed in, disputing Djokovic’s theory, stating that fans were simply supporting Rune and that provoking Djokovic only fuels his motivation. Djokovic is set to face No. 9 seed Alex De Minaur in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.

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