‘Come here and say it to my face’: Why Novak Djokovic turned on crowd

user avatar Author: Editors Desk Source: News Corp Australia Network:
January 17, 2024 at 11:58

World number one Novak Djokovic was not only battling young Aussie Alexei Popyrin, but the crowd as well, as he took aim at a fan.

Novak Djokovic has fired up at the Melbourne Park crowd late in his 6-3 4-6 7-6 6-3 second round win over Aussie Alexei Popyrin.

You could cut the tension with a knife on Rod Laver Arena as Djokovic led two sets to one after surviving four set points and winning a tie-breaker to get ahead of the Aussie.

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But Djokovic, who was stretching out his wrist, which appeared to be bothering him during the United Cup at 2-all, before he began jawing at a member of the crowd.

“Come down here and say that to my face, come and say it my face, come on, come on,” Djokovic said while gesturing to the patron.

Speaking on Eurosport, Nick Kyrgios explained the drama.

“There’s always some jerk in the crowd who wouldn’t say something to Novak’s face if they were walking through a hallway together,” he said.

The commentators said the fan had not been kicked out of the stadium.

Speaking in the press conference, Djokovic opened up on the incident, without revealing what was said.

“You don’t want to know,” Djokovic said.

“There was a lot of things that were being told to me on the court, particularly from that corner, and the same side the other corner. I was tolerating it for most of the match.

“At one point I had enough, and I asked him whether he wants to come down and tell it to my face. When you confront somebody, unfortunately for him, he didn’t have the courage to come down. That’s what I was asking him.

“If you have courage, if you’re such a tough man, tough guy, come down and tell it to my face, and let’s have a discussion about it.

“He was apologising from far away. That’s all it is.”

Novak has found his inspiration. Photo: Channel 9
Novak has found his inspiration. Photo: Channel 9

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