Wimbledon 2024: Djokovic advances and clashes with the English crowd: “Believe me, you can't touch me” | Tennis | Sports | EUROtoday

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It's already darkish in London and Novak Djokovic is taking part in the violin, having certified for the quarter-finals (6-3, 6-4 and 6-2 towards Holger Rune, in 2h 03m) and pissed off by the music he heard throughout the match, these “Ruuuuuuuune” chants from the London crowd in refrain. “To all those who have chosen to disrespect me, I wish you a gooooood night. Gooood night, gooood night,” he repeats thrice. “No, no, no. I don't accept it. I know they were cheering him on, but at the same time it's an excuse to boo me. I've been on the circuit for more than 20 years. [desde 2003 exactamente] “And believe me, I know all the tricks and I know how things work. Okay, OK, I'm focusing on the respectful people who have paid the entrance fee to come here and who love tennis and the players. Believe me, I've played in much more hostile environments than this. You can't touch me,” the 24-time Grand Slam champion says in a heated tone.

The 37-year-old Serbian has more than enough reasons to be happy. He has beaten Rune in a straight line, is once again among the eight best in the tournament – he will face Australian Alex de Minaur in a couple of days – and is still in a position to lift the eighth title in London, which would equal Roger Federer's record and add another major to his record. Happiness, however, is incomplete. Djokovic wants to be loved, having repeatedly professed his love for the tournament that dazzled him when he was a child – the magic of grass and Pete Sampras – and having made a more than considerable effort to be able to be present these days; a month ago he had to undergo surgery and the rehabilitation process has been hard, so he does not quite understand those cries.

Operated on June 5 in Paris for a torn meniscus, Nole has already won four rounds and continues to progress, knee brace included, but he does not understand the attitude of the English public. After winning the second set, kisses to the crowd and then, the reproach in the dedication. He answers coldly in the conference room. The Serbian explains himself, hurt.

“I don’t know what Wimbledon can do about it. I mean, people pay to enter and they have the right to be there and cheer however they want; they choose how they behave. Yes, maybe the chair umpire or whoever can intervene at certain moments and calm them down, but there’s not much you can do. You’re not going to throw them out because they’re misbehaving or being disrespectful. That’s the way it is. It’s part of the sport,” says the Balkan, who has an odd relationship with the English followers. Seven-time champion of the match, he has no selection however to simply accept the native predilection for the Swiss Roger Federer. “Desperate to be loved,” the newspaper as soon as described him. The Telegraph.

“The fans are one of the biggest reasons we are here, why the tournament is so important historically and why we are recognised worldwide. They pay for tickets and queue up to come here, and I respect that. True tennis fans respect the players and of course they will support one player or another; it is totally understandable that they have the freedom to choose who they support, but if someone goes too far, I react. That is basically it. After the match I said what I said…” he concludes, already fascinated about regaining power for Wednesday’s showdown with De Minaur and in addition upset. The Centre Court normally tickles him and, as soon as once more, it has discovered him.

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