‘Novak Djokovic gets a bit annoyed because he is not as popular as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal’

Shahida Jacobs
Novak Djokovic hasn't received the same love as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal
Novak Djokovic hasn't received the same love as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal

The lack of love that Novak Djokovic receives on court compared to his great rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal is likely to be key to the 24-time Grand Slam winner’s latest run-in win the Centre Court crowd and his abrupt ending to a post-match interview.

That is the verdict of former British No 1 John Lloyd.

Seven-time Wimbledon champion Djokovic has been the centre of headlines the past few days following his dig at spectators at the All England Club.

The tennis great was unhappy with the treatment he received from fans during his fourth-round win over Holger Rune. The match itself was a breeze as the Serbian won in straight sets, but he was irked by those on Centre Court as he accused them of booing him throughout the contest.

“Well, to all the fans that had respect and stayed here tonight thank you very much from the bottom of my heart, I appreciate it,” Djokovic said during his post-match on-court interview.

“And to all those people that have chosen to disrespect the player, in this case me, have a gooooood night. Gooood night, gooood night. Very good night.”

When it was put to him that many were simply cheering on Rune by shouting “Ruuuuuuuuune” he stuck to his guns.

“I focus on the respectful people, they have respect, who pay a ticket to come and watch tonight and love tennis,” he said.

“Love tennis and appreciate the players, appreciate the efforts that the players put in here. I have played in much more hostile environments, trust me. You guys can’t touch me.”

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BBC commentator and former Australian Open finalist Lloyd explained that Djokovic’s irritation most likely stems from the fact that has never been as popular as fellow Big Three rivals Federer and Nadal.

“I think deep down he gets a bit annoyed at some of his rivals, in particular Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, and they were so popular on court,” he said during BBC’s coverage.

“Novak, sometimes, is just not as popular as those two. Well who would be? And I think sometimes he gets a little bit annoyed at it, the crowd gets on him, thinks it’s a bit personal, it isn’t.”

Djokovic also stormed out of a BBC interview on Tuesday after he was asked more questions about his reaction to the Centre Court crowd.

After several questions about the incident, Djokovic said: “Do you have any questions other than the crowd? I mean are you focused only on that or any questions about the match, or something like that? Or is it solely focused on that? This is the third question already, I said what I have to say, maybe we can speak about something else.”

After answering one more question, the Serbian had enough, stood up and walked away.