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Djokovic launches rambling tirade at crowd before quarter clash with ‘Demon’

Novak Djokovic has taken aim at Centre Court spectators he claimed disrespected him during a straight-sets win over Danish youngster Holger Rune in the Wimbledon fourth round.

Jul 09, 2024, updated Jul 09, 2024
Novak Djokovic of Serbia gestures to the crowd as he is interviewed after defeating Holger Rune of Denmark in their fourth round match at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, Monday, July 8, 2024.(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Novak Djokovic of Serbia gestures to the crowd as he is interviewed after defeating Holger Rune of Denmark in their fourth round match at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, Monday, July 8, 2024.(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

A last-16 tie with Rune had been expected to be Djokovic’s biggest test since having surgery on a torn meniscus last month, but the 24-time grand slam winner eased into the quarter-finals with a 6-3 6-4 6-2 victory on Monday.

Rather than the world No.16 being able to knock Djokovic off stride, it was fans who frustrated the 37-year-old after he took exception to the surname of his opponent repeatedly being chanted.

During a heated on-court interview, Djokovic said: “Well, to all the fans that had respect and 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 gooooood night. Gooood night, gooood night. Very good night.”

It was put to Djokovic, the second seed, that they were merely chanting Rune and not booing him, but the second seed countered back.

“They were (disrespecting), they were, they were. I don’t accept it,” Djokovic insisted.

“I know they were cheering for Rune, but that’s an excuse to also boo.

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

“I focus on the respectful people, they have respect, that pay a ticket to come and watch tonight and love tennis.

“Love tennis and appreciate the players, appreciate the efforts that the players put in here. I have played in much more hostile environments, trust me. You guys can’t touch me.”

Djokovic headed for the Centre Court exit to initial applause before further chants of Rune followed.

In his seventh consecutive Wimbledon quarter-final, Djokovic will take on Australia’s Alex de Minaur.

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