Novak Djokovic Slams Wimbledon Fans for “Disrespect” After Quarter-Final Victory

Novak Djokovic, the world number two and seven-time Wimbledon champion, expressed his frustration with a section of the crowd after reaching his 60th Grand Slam quarter-final and 15th at the All England Club on Monday. The Serbian star defeated the 15th-ranked Holger Rune 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 in a match marred by what Djokovic perceived as disrespectful behavior from some spectators.

Throughout the match, certain fans at Centre Court chanted “Rune,” which Djokovic interpreted as booing. In his post-match comments, Djokovic did not hold back. “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,” Djokovic said, visibly irritated. “And to all those people that have chosen to disrespect the player — in this case me — have a goooooooood night,” he added, mimicking the exaggerated chant of “Ruuuuune.”

When a TV interviewer suggested that the fans might have been shouting “Rune” rather than “boo,” Djokovic stood his ground. “They were (booing). They were. I am not accepting it. No, no, no. I know they were cheering for Rune, but that’s an excuse to also boo,” he asserted.

Djokovic, who has been on the professional tennis circuit for over two decades, said he was well-versed in the tactics of the crowd. “I know all the tricks, I know how it works. I focus on the respectful people that pay for the ticket, and love tennis and appreciate the players. I have played in much more hostile environments, trust me — you guys can’t touch me.”

Despite his outburst, Djokovic acknowledged in a later press conference that fans have the right to cheer for whomever they choose. “I’m not sure what Wimbledon can do about it. You can’t remove a whole section of the crowd if they are misbehaving. I respect true fans but if someone steps over the line I will react,” he said.

The 37-year-old Djokovic, who was still sporting a knee support on his right leg following surgery last month, dominated the match from the outset. Rune did not win a single point in the opening three games, setting the tone for the rest of the encounter. Djokovic saved a break point in the 10th game of the second set and secured a crucial break in the first game of the third set to seal his victory.

Rune later explained that his fans’ chanting might have been misunderstood. “It sounded a little bit like ‘boo’. We played each other many more times, but more in Italy and France, where they don’t pronounce my name the same way,” he said. “Now we’re in England. If you don’t know what was happening, probably it sounded like ‘boo’. If he didn’t remember, it could probably sound different for him.”

Djokovic’s next challenge will be against Australian ninth seed Alex de Minaur for a place in the semi-finals. As he continues his quest for a record-setting 25th major title, all eyes will be on how he handles both his opponents and the crowd’s reactions in the coming matches.

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