Novak Djokovic demands fan get kicked out of Australian Open match after being heckled
Novak Djokovic is used to being in front of the crowd when he plays tennis. Along with Nick Kyrgios, he is public enemy No. 1 among many fans.
And on Thursday, during the fourth set of his second-round match against Anjo Koukoud at the Australian Open, the situation boiled over as he complained to the chair umpire about the heckling he was receiving from a group of fans in particular.
Djokovic’s serve routines were interrupted by constant screams as he was taunted by fans in the crowd.
“The guy’s drunk out of his mind,” an angry Djokovic can be heard telling umpire Fergus Murphy, pointing at the fan in question.
“From the first point, he has been provoking me. He’s not here to watch tennis, he just wants to get into my head, you’ve heard him at least 10 times, I’ve heard him 50 times.
“What are you going to do about it? Take him out of the stadium.”
Dressed in red and white stripes, the ‘Where’s Waldo?’ The outfit was seen being carried out of the stadium at the end of the game.
Last week, the head of Tennis Australia – the organizer of the Australian Open – Craig Tilley told Australia’s Herald Sun that people who unreasonably taunt Djokovic would be removed from the venue: “If they disrupt someone else’s enjoyment Puts – boom, then they’re out.
“We don’t want them on site … they can stay away or we’ll kick them out.”
Laura Robson, the former British No. 1, said it was understandable that Djokovic was “frustrated” by the treatment he was receiving from the crowd.
“I think everybody would be a little bit disappointed by that level of heckling,” Robson told CNN Sport’s Amanda Davis. “And in a stadium like Rod Laver, you can hear everything when you’re on the court.
“There’s not a lot of distance between people in the first two rows and the baseline. And so he was dealing with point after point and finally, it was almost until the end of the match before he got them out, but you can understand the frustration. ”
The No. 4 seed had to fight through the roar of the crowd, a stern test from Koakad and constant hurt to win 6-1 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 6-0.
He has been struggling Hamstring injury Suffered last week and, during the second set, the Serbian star ended up in a medical timeout in the locker room to have the problem area treated.
Despite losing the second set, the 35-year-old blasted through the final two sets without too many issues on court, with most of his problems coming from the fans.
Djokovic’s complaints are similar to those raised by him Kyrgios in last year’s Wimbledon final against Djokovic in which he asked a fan to be kicked out of the stadium for repeatedly talking to him during a game.
“She’s drunk out of her mind, so get her out,” he said at the time. When asked by the umpire whose supporter it was, Kyrgios pointed to the stands and said: “The one who looks like he’s had about 700 drinks.”
The viewer took legal action against Kyrgios and the two have since settled the matter.