‘I play 90 percent of my matches against the stadium,’ Novak Djokovic opens up about his strong reaction towards the distasteful Wimbledon crowd

During the third round match against Denis Kudla at Wimbledon 2021, Novak Djokovic lost his cool after a certain section of the crowd were constantly provoking him.

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic

World No.1 and defending champion Novak Djokovic is through to the Round of 16 at Wimbledon 2021 yet again as he hammered American qualifier Denis Kudla in straight sets 6-4,6-3,7-6(7) in the third round on Friday. Djokovic was dominating throughout the match and is the overwhelming favorite to win the title on Sunday.

But despite being the 19-time grand slam champion and 5-time Wimbledon champion, Djokovic isn’t particularly the most loved player at SW19. Call it the underdog effect, the crowd usually favours the player playing against Djokovic. And so was the case on Court No.1 on Friday. The crowd were backing Kudla and pumping him up which didn’t go well with Djokovic. But Djokovic lost it all when a certain section of the crowd cheered when the Serb hit a double fault.

But like a champion, Djokovic held his nerve to win that particular game and gave a strong reaction. He was yelling and mocking that particular section of the crowd and later said that he had to put them in their place because they crossed a line.

‘I had to get it out of my system and put them in their place’: Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic

After the match, Djokovic admitted that his reactions may have been more explosive than they should be. “My reactions were explosive, perhaps more explosive than they should be, but I had to get it out of my system and put them in their place,” Djokovic said.

“Look, you know, in the heat of battle, these things happen. You release the emotions, the stress, the pressure that you feel on the court. Yeah, sometimes you are maybe looking for a little bit of support or sometimes you just want to let it go. That is what happened to me.”

Djokovic also said that for almost his entire career, he has most of the times been on the receiving end of the crowd. “It is not something that the people do not see. It is a fact that I play 90 percent of my matches, if not even more than that, against the opponent, but against the stadium as well.”

Also read: “That’s why the Big-3 have been so dominant in Grand Slam” Alexander Zverev reacts after a tough 3rd round victory at the Wimbledon 2021