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Novak Djokovic mocks crowd during post-match interview; Holger Rune

Maybe the Centre Court spectators were saluting Novak Djokovic’s opponent by saying his name. Maybe they were booing Djokovic, trying to rattle him.

The 24-time grand slam champion was sure it was the latter — and he let everyone know he was not happy about it.

Djokovic easily beat 15th-seeded Holger Rune 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 in just over two hours to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals, then made sure to get a message across to those fans he thought were against him.

Watch Wimbledon 2024 live and exclusively free on Nine and 9Now. Plus centre court in 4K UHD on Stan Sport, the home of grand slam tennis.

Rune’s supporters at various tournaments often will stretch out his last name, saying, “Ruuuuuune!” — which sounds rather similar to “Boooooo!” — and that happened again during the contest.

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During his on-court post-match interview, Djokovic spoke briefly about the match, but then veered into a discussion about the people in the stands.

Djokovic was happy to take on the crowd after Rune. Getty

“To all the fans that have respect and that stayed here tonight: Thank you very much from the bottom of my heart. I appreciate it.

And to all those people that have chosen to disrespect the player — in this case, me — have a goooood night. Gooooood night. Gooooood night. Very gooooood night,” he said, stretching out the “Os” in “good” so they sounded like “boo.”

Djokovic takes the crowd to task. Getty

The interviewer tried to dissuade Djokovic from thinking anyone was trying to taunt him.

“They were. They were. They were. I don’t accept it. I know they were cheering for Rune. But that’s an excuse to also boo,” Djokovic said.

“Listen, I’ve been on the tour for more than 20 years. So trust me, I know all the tricks. I know how it works. It’s fine. It’s fine. It’s OK.

“I focus on the respectful people, that have respect, that paid (for) a ticket to watch tonight — and love tennis. And love tennis. And appreciate the players and the effort that the players put in here.”

Novak Djokovic celebrates winning match point with a violin gesture. Getty

After the match ended, Djokovic gestured as if he were playing a violin, maybe mockingly indicating he felt bad for anyone in the arena that he had saddened by winning and getting to the quarterfinals at the All England Club for the 15th time.

He has won the championship at Wimbledon seven times and was the runner-up to Carlos Alcaraz last year.

“I played in much more hostile environments, trust me,” Djokovic said. “You guys can’t touch me.”

Speaking to reporters after the match, Rune disputed Djokovic’s claim, saying fans were just yelling his name.

“We all know what happened… it was my name… But I don’t think it played a massive part in the match… it was great support for both players.”

Rune later added: “It all started at US Open the first time we played each other. When the crowd chanted my name and it sounded a little bit like ‘boo…’ then we played each other many more times, more like in Italy and France where they don’t pronounce my name the same way.

“Yeah, now we’re in England. If you don’t know what was happening, probably it sounded like ‘boo.’ But… if we all know what happened.. it was my name.

“He’s played so many matches since he played me last time. If he didn’t remember, it could probably sound different for him.

“But I don’t think it played a massive part in the match. He was just better than me today. Whether the crowd was this or that.. I think it was great support for both players to be honest. They were supporting him on good points. They were supporting me. Nice scenes on Centre Court.”

Djokovic goes on to face Australian ninth seed Alex de Minaur for a place in the semi-finals.


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