Ruthless Djokovic takes aim at Centre Court crowd


Emotions ran high for Novak Djokovic on Monday as he angrily lashed out at Wimbledon fans following his three-set demolition job over young Dane Holger Rune in the fourth round.

After tentative performances in his two previous outings, the seven-time champion had appeared to be back to his best against Rune as he dished out a 6-3 6-4 6-2 masterclass to set up a quarter-final date with Australian Alex De Minaur.

But for the thousands of fans who had stuck around late into the night to watch the match under a closed Centre Court roof, it is unlikely their abiding memory from day eight of the championships will have anything to do with the dazzling backhands or forehands that were on show.

Instead, what they will remember is the astonishing words that flowed out of Djokovic's mouth during a bizarre post-match interview, in which he accused the crowd of disrespecting him.

Irritated by the fans who greeted Rune's occasional moments of brilliance with chants of "Ruuune!", he ranted: "To all those people that have chosen to disrespect the player, in this case me, have a goooooood night! Goooooood night! Goooooood night!"

When the interviewer suggested the fans had merely been chanting his rival's name, Djokovic disagreed.

"I don't accept that, no, no, no. I know there they were cheering for Rune but that's an excuse to also boo. 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," he added pointing to the stands.

"I focus on respectful people that have respect that paid the ticket to come and watch tonight and love tennis and appreciate the players and the effort they're putting in.

"I've played in much more hostile environments. Trust me, you guys, you guys can't touch me."

It was a strange way to end proceedings on Centre Court which had earlier witnessed world number four Zverev becoming the highest men's seed to fall by the wayside. The German came unstuck against Taylor Fritz in a five-set thriller despite being only two games away from securing a place in the last eight for the first time.

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