Novak Djokovic’s anger highlighted as he storms out of interview after Wimbledon row

Kevin Palmer
Novak Djokovic clashing with the Wimbledon spectators once again
Novak Djokovic clashing with the Wimbledon spectators once again

Footage has been released of Novak Djokovic bringing an abrupt end to a BBC interview following his feisty clashes with fans on Wimbledon’s Centre Court on Monday night.

Djokovic took aim at spectators he claimed disrespected him during a straight-sets win over Holger Rune in the Wimbledon fourth round.

A last-16 tie with Rune had been expected to be Djokovic’s biggest test since having surgery on a torn meniscus last month, but the 24-time grand slam winner eased into the quarter-finals with a 6-3 6-4 6-2 victory.

Rather than Rune being able to knock Djokovic off stride, it was fans inside Centre Court who frustrated the 37-year-old after he took exception to the surname of his opponent repeatedly being chanted.

During a heated on-court interview, Djokovic said: “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.

“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.”

It was put to Djokovic that they were merely chanting Rune and not booing him, but the second seed countered back.

“They were (disrespecting), they were, they were. I don’t accept it,” Djokovic insisted.

“I know they were cheering for Rune, but that’s an excuse to also boo.

“Listen, I have been on the tour for more than 20 years. Trust me, I know all the tricks. I know how it works, it is fine. It is fine, it’s OK.

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

“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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Now the BBC has released footage of their interview with Djokovic on the media balcony at Wimbledon following the win against Rune.

It shows the Serbian losing his cool with the BBC reporter who continued to ask questions about his clashes with the fans, before he jumps out of his seat and ends the interview.


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He was asked whether his mood had changed after his comments on court caused such a stir and offered up a direct response.

“As I said in the post-match interview, I think most of the people in the stadium were respectful and I thank them and know that after watching tennis all day it’s not easy,” he said.

“I was thankful, I don’t take it for granted, they are a big part of why I still play, the crowds who appreciate what we do and the effort we put in.

“When I feel that a crowd is stepping over the line, I react, I don’t regret my words or actions on the court.”

A firther question followed about the fans and Djokovic snapped back: “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.”

He was then asked about his quarter-final clash against Alex de Minaur and brought a swift end to the interview.

It will now be fascinating to see how the Wimbledon fans react when this serial champion returns to the famous grass courts on Wednesday.