Novak Djokovic loses his composure when a fan yelled “Out!” Center during US Open quarterfinal match against Taylor Fritz
- The 36-year-old defeated Fritz – number 9 in the ATP – in straight sets on Wednesday
- Djokovic will make his tenth US Open final appearance if he wins again on Friday
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Novak Djokovic was furious at a fan yelling “Out!” Half-time of his quarter-final game against Taylor Fritz on Wednesday, when shortly afterwards the Serb finally lost concentration and also lost the rally.
The 36-year-old then seemed to get into an exchange of blows with someone in his own box, resulting in him losing the break point and eventually the game.
However, Djokovic defeated Fritz – the top-ranked American and No. 9 in the ATP rankings – 6-1 6-4 6-4 after asking to have the fan removed from the stands.
“He was actually in the box that some of my friends were in.” I don’t know who that guy was; but yeah, I was pretty annoyed with him at that point. “I spoke to my friends to have a little chat with him,” Djokovic said.
“Actually, I’m glad the audience wants to be there because it means the game is interesting, they want to be there and they’re having fun.” At the end of the day, they’re paying to come and see you play watch, so we’re trying to put on a show. … Sometimes [they] could have an interaction with the player, like this guy. I feel sorry for him but he was really annoying at that point.’
Novak Djokovic was furious at a fan yelling “Out!” Focus on Wednesday at the US Open
The 36-year-old Serb switched his box after losing the point to USA’s Taylor Fritz
Djokovic then quickly brushed away any lingering feelings he might have towards the crowd during the game by spontaneously encouraging fans to sing along to the Beastie Boys’ “Fight For You Right” in his post-game interview.
“Of course, people are expected to support the home player.” And there’s nothing wrong with that,” Djokovic said of some of the fans who support Fritz beating him.
“Actually, I like the energy, the vibe here on Center Court… people go into it.”
With the temperature heading back towards 38 degrees Celsius, Djokovic wasted no time in the scorching heat, beating 25-year-old Fritz three times before ending the first set with a booming ace. He never took his foot off the gas after that and won in straight sets.
The moody New York crowd has never really embraced the holder of the record number of Grand Slam titles in men’s singles (23) and Djokovic is likely to feel increasingly unpopular as this week progresses.
If he defeats Ben Shelton on Friday, Djokovic will contest his tenth US Open final
No American has won the US Open since Andy Roddick in 2003 and the current world No. 2 single-handedly dashed hopes of ending that dry spell.
After eliminating Fritz, 20-year-old Shelton now stands between him and his tenth place in the finals.
“It’s normal, it’s logical to expect that most of the audience would support the home player,” Djokovic said. “That will probably be the case on Friday, but I will be prepared for that.”
“I try to enjoy the moments on the pitch but there is so much stress and pressure that it’s difficult to have fun on the pitch.”
“It’s really about finding a way to navigate the game and win a tennis match for myself.”