‘I felt sad for Novak Djokovic. What does he have to do to get a crowd on his side?’
Amazon Prime pundits Annabel Croft and Greg Rusedski have hit out at The O2 Arena crowd for their hostility towards Novak Djokovic during his loss to Roger Federer at the ATP Finals.
The duo squared off in their final round-robin match on Thursday with the winner assured of a place in the semi-finals.
Federer came out on top of the 6-4, 6-3 result and the defeat also ended Djokovic’s hopes of pipping Rafael Nadal to the year-end world No 1 ranking.
The Swiss has always been a crowd favourite and it was no different at The O2, but fans took things too far as they applauded some of Djokovic’s mistakes.
When asked about the crowd reactions during his post-match press conference, Djokovic played it down.
“I mean, look, it was an important match, and I think every time I face Roger or Rafa anywhere in the world, it’s a lot of excitement,” he said.
“So it was a full stadium, which was nice to see. It was loud. It was electric. You know, it was a good atmosphere.”
However, Croft was far from impressed.
“I felt sad for Novak. Here is a great, great champion. Someone who has achieved so much in the game,” she is quoted as saying by Metro.co.uk.
“What does he have to do to get a crowd on his side? He was playing some beautiful tennis and it was just met by polite applause.
“Some of his double faults were being clapped and cheered. It looked to me like he became very subdued and went into his shell after that.
“He couldn’t fire himself up. I did feel a tinge of sadness for him because he looked a little lost out here and it can’t be easy when you’re taking on 20,000 people.”
Rusedski also criticised the fans.
“I think it’s disrespectful when you’re clapping double faults. That’s too much,” he said.
“I don’t mind fans supporting one guy over the other – that’s your choice – but there’s a certain etiquette you have to have out there.
“That really got into Djokovic’s head because he double faulted, some of the crowd applauded and he double faulted again. Then he got broken and from that point on he was always behind in the match.
“He never recovered. He gets too hard a time sometimes.”
British number one Dan Evans goes out at quarter-final stage at Queen’s Club
But Cameron Norrie books his place in the last eight.
Dan Evans has his run at Queen’s Club ended by Matteo Berrettini
Top seed Matteo Berrettini reached the semi-finals with a 7-6 (5) 6-3 victory.
Exclusive – Tennis needs to build ‘female workforce’ to reach a new audience
Judy Murray wants to see more women participating in tennis at all levels.
Naomi Osaka will not play at Wimbledon but she is preparing to return to the game
Wimbledon is set to begin on June 28 and Naomi Osaka will be missing.
Andy Murray insists his ambition is not dented after compressive defeat at Queen’s Club
The Scot was overpowered 6-3 6-3.
Wimbledon organisers defend online ticket sale amid complaints from fans
Vast majority of those applying had no issues.
Impressive Matteo Berrettini ends Andy Murray’s Queen’s Club comeback
Andy Murray was overpowered by Matteo Berrettini.
‘I’m just pleased to have come through,’ Dan Evans after easing into Queen’s Club last eight
British No 1 secured a two-set win over the Frenchman.
‘The goal is to prolong my career,’ says Rafael Nadal as he withdraws from Wimbledon and Tokyo Olympics
Rafael Nadal opts to take an extended.
Rafael Nadal’s Wimbledon withdrawal may be a sign of what is to come
Kevin Palmer on Rafael Nadal’s Wimbledon withdrawal.