‘From the first point…’: Angry Djokovic demands ‘drunk’ spectator to be removed | Tennis News - Hindustan Times
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‘From the first point…’: Furious Novak Djokovic demands ‘drunk’ spectator to be removed during his Australian Open match

Jan 20, 2023 11:16 AM IST

During the match, Djokovic faced constant barbs directed at him by a few spectators on the court which affected his gameplay. The situation turned heated when the nine-time champion complained to the chair umpire Fergus Murphy about the deliberate provocation being directed towards him.

Novak Djokovic cruised to the third round of Australian Open, with a 6-1 6-7(5-7) 6-2 6-0 win over Enzo Couacaud on Thursday at Rod Laver Arena. The fourth seed battled problems with his hamstring and bounced back after losing the second set to Couacaud. The Serbian superstar has won 21 grand slam titles and is in pursuit of a record-tying 22nd Grand Slam championship at the tournament.

Novak Djokovic complained to the chair umpire Fergus Murphy about the deliberate provocation being directed towards him. in the match(Reuters)
Novak Djokovic complained to the chair umpire Fergus Murphy about the deliberate provocation being directed towards him. in the match(Reuters)

During the match, Djokovic faced constant barbs directed at him by a few spectators on the court which affected his gameplay. The situation turned heated when the nine-time champion complained to the chair umpire Fergus Murphy about the deliberate provocation being directed towards him.

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“The guy is drunk out of his mind,” an angry Djokovic could be heard saying to the umpire while pointing to the fans in question.

“From the first point, he’s been provoking me. He’s not here to watch tennis, he just wants to get in my head, you heard him at least 10 times, I heard him 50. What are you going to do about it? Get him out of the stadium,” he complained.

At the end of the game, the fans in question were escorted out of the stadium.

Laura Robson, former British No. 1, backed Djokovic's action and said that it was understandable Djokovic was 'frustrated' with the heckling by a section of the crowd.

“I think everyone would be a bit frustrated with that level of heckling. And in a stadium like Rod Laver, you can hear everything when you’re on the court,” Robson told CNN Sport.

“There’s not a huge distance between the people in the first couple of rows and the baseline. And so that was what he was dealing with point after point and, eventually, it took until almost until the end of the match before they were kicked out, but you can understand the frustration,” she added.

Djokovic will face off against seed No. 27 Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov in the third round of the tournament on Saturday.

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