Home Sports Novak Djokovic accuses Centre Court crowd of ‘DISRESPECT’ during straight-sets win over Holger Rune in awkward post-match interview live on BBC… but did he confuse boos with fans chanting his opponent’s name?

Novak Djokovic accuses Centre Court crowd of ‘DISRESPECT’ during straight-sets win over Holger Rune in awkward post-match interview live on BBC… but did he confuse boos with fans chanting his opponent’s name?

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Novak Djokovic took aim at the Centre Court crowd on Monday, accusing them of disrespecting him.

Novak Djokovic had promised ‘fireworks’ in his fourth round match against Holger Rune and, after the match itself failed to produce a single flare, he grabbed the microphone and pointed a Roman candle directly at the Centre Court crowd.

The seven-time champion turned his on-court interview into a tirade about what he felt were boos directed at him. It seemed like the crowd was simply cheering Ruuuuuune on for his opponent, but Djokovic, as he often does, saw things differently.

“To all the fans who have been respectful and stayed here tonight, I thank you from the bottom of my heart and I appreciate it,” he began. “And to all those people who have chosen to disrespect the player, in this case me, have a gooooood night.”

His BBC interviewer, Rishi Persad, said, rather bemused: “I hope they were just commenting on Rune and weren’t disrespecting you.”

Djokovic, who has a history of facing crowds, was having none of it. “They did it. They were disrespecting me,” he insisted. “I don’t accept it. No, no, no. I know they were cheering for Rune, but that’s an excuse to boo as well.”

Novak Djokovic took aim at the Centre Court crowd on Monday, accusing them of disrespecting him.

The seven-time champion turned his on-court interview into a tirade about what he felt were boos directed at him.

The seven-time champion turned his on-court interview into a tirade about what he felt were boos directed at him.

Novak Djokovic pretends to play the violin for his daughter as he celebrates his win over Denmark's Holger Rune

Novak Djokovic pretends to play the violin for his daughter as he celebrates his win over Denmark’s Holger Rune

The tennis star's wife, Jelena Djokovic, looked a little uncomfortable as Djokovic addressed the crowd.

The tennis star’s wife, Jelena Djokovic, looked a little uncomfortable as Djokovic addressed the crowd.

His outburst came after he defeated Holger Rune in straight sets to advance to the quarter-finals.

His outburst came after he defeated Holger Rune in straight sets to advance to the quarter-finals.

‘Listen, I’ve been on the circuit for over 20 years. I know all the tricks. I focus on respectful people who pay the entrance fee, who love tennis and appreciate the players. I’ve played in much more hostile environments, believe me, you guys can’t touch me.’

The 37-year-old seemed to believe that some in the crowd were masking their booing under the guise of supporting Rune. To me it seemed no different from Lord’s salute to Joe Root after a century.

Rune himself said: “I mean, if you didn’t know what was going on, it probably sounded like a boo. But if we all know what happened, it was my name.”

The tennis seemed almost secondary after all that, but Djokovic won 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 and produced by far his best performance of the tournament so far. Rune was poor, losing the first 12 points of the match and never really recovering.

In his post-match press conference, Djokovic stood by what he had said.

“When I feel the crowd is overstepping the line, I react,” he said. “I don’t regret my words or my actions on the court.”

He also tweeted a photo after the game of himself chasing a ball down the court, with the caption: “Sliding into the quarters. Goodnight.”

Djokovic’s relationship with the public has not always been friendly. After beating Roger Federer in the 2019 final, his former coach Boris Becker said he deserved more respect from the crowd that had supported the Swiss star.

Djokovic appeared annoyed with the Wimbledon crowd throughout the match and did not accept a BBC interviewer's explanation that they had only been supporting his opponent.

Djokovic appeared annoyed with the Wimbledon crowd throughout the match and did not accept a BBC interviewer’s explanation that they had only been supporting his opponent.

Djokovic hasn't always had the best relationship with the crowd. Here he is seen blowing them a kiss after winning match point against Rune

Djokovic hasn’t always had the best relationship with the crowd. Here he is seen blowing them a kiss after winning match point against Rune

Djokovic pretends to play a violin during his celebrations after booking his place in the quarter-finals

Djokovic pretends to play a violin during his celebrations after booking his place in the quarter-finals

Djokovic was told that the crowd was probably screaming

Djokovic was told the crowd was probably chanting “Runeeee,” but he didn’t accept that.

And two years ago, he was booed after blowing a kiss to fans following his semi-final win over Britain’s Cameron Norrie.

He also delighted audiences last year when he faced 20-year-old Spanish star Carlos Alcaraz in the Wimbledon final.

With the crowd at times rooting for the underdog Alcaraz, Djokovic again blew kisses to the fans.

He was also booed during the final when he hit the net post with his racket in frustration, argued with the umpire and stared at the Centre Court crowd.

And in January, the tennis superstar yelled at fans to shut the f*** up as she criticised new rules allowing fans to move between games at the Australian Open.

Fortunately, in Wednesday’s quarter-final match, Djokovic will not face any player whose surname is monosyllabic and contains the letter u or double o. It will be easy to distinguish between the boos for him and the support for Alex de Minaur.

But the pair have history after clashing over Djokovic’s vaccination saga during the pandemic.

Australian star De Minaur was one of the most vocal tennis players in the world about Djokovic’s deportation and ban from playing in the Australian Open.

“Look, Australians have been through a lot,” he said at the time. “It’s no secret. They’ve been through a lot. They’ve worked hard to protect themselves and their borders.”

There was also drama in another clash last night. Taylor Fritz and Alexander Zverev had a noticeably tense exchange at the net after the match had ended.

There was also drama in another clash last night. Taylor Fritz and Alexander Zverev had a noticeably tense exchange at the net after the match had ended.

Taylor Fritz's girlfriend Morgan Riddle appeared to take aim at Alexander Zverev after the match. She posted a video on her Instagram story showing her enjoying a drink with the caption

Taylor Fritz’s girlfriend Morgan Riddle appeared to take aim at Alexander Zverev after the match. She posted a video on her Instagram story showing her enjoying a drink with the caption “when your man wins for the girls.” The story, possibly a reference to the abuse allegations Zverev has faced, now appears to have been deleted.

Riddle, a popular social media influencer, watched as her boyfriend moved on.

Riddle, a popular social media influencer, watched as her boyfriend moved on.

He also laughed when he learned that Djokovic had failed in his appeal and was to be deported from Australia, while at a press conference with fellow Australian Jason Kubler.

When Djokovic beat him last year, he told reporters: “I have no relationship with him.

“I respect him as a rival, as a teammate, as I respect everyone. I have no problem in contacting him, congratulating him, etc.

“But I don’t have any other relationship. I don’t have any communication with him. He showed in 2022 what he thinks of me.”

The American rallied from two sets down to beat No. 4 seed Alexander Zverev 4-6, 6-7, 6-4, 7-6, 6-3. That match itself was not without drama.

Zverev had a lengthy exchange with Fritz at the end of the match and said afterwards that he felt some members of the American’s side were “a bit over the top.”

During the match, Fritz’s influencer girlfriend Morgan Riddle, who has 17.2 million likes on TikTok, wrote “cheer up girls” on social media and later posted a video with the caption “when your man beats the girls.”

Some saw the posts as references to Zverev’s court case for assaulting his ex-girlfriend, which was settled last month.

He agreed to pay Brenda Patea, the mother of his child, $217,820, but was found not guilty of any wrongdoing (Patea publicly identified himself as the victim in the case).

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