DJOKOVIC REACHES 60TH GRAND SLAM QUARTERFINAL

(UPDATE) LONDON — Novak Djokovic accused Wimbledon fans of "disrespect" in a withering on-court tirade after reaching a 60th Grand Slam quarterfinal and 15th at the All England Club on Monday (Tuesday in Manila).

World No. 2 Djokovic, the seven-time champion at Wimbledon and chasing a record-setting 25th major, defeated 15th-ranked Holger Rune 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.

Djokovic then launched an angry outburst at a section of Centre Court fans who constantly chanted "Rune" throughout the match and which the Serb took to be booing.

"To all the fans that have had respect and stayed here tonight, I thank you from the bottom of my heart and I appreciate it," said an angry Djokovic.

"And to all those people that have chosen to disrespect the player — in this case me — have a goooooooood night," he added, mocking his tormentors' exaggerated "Ruuuuune."

When told by the TV interviewer that some fans were shouting "Rune" rather than "boo" Djokovic hit back.

"They were [booing]. They were. I am not accepting it. No, no, no. I know they were cheering for Rune but that's an excuse to also boo," he said.

"Listen, I have been on the tour for more than 20 years. I know all the tricks, I know how it works. I focus on the respectful people that pay for the ticket, and love tennis and appreciate the players.

"I have played in much more hostile environments, trust me — you guys can't touch me."

Djokovic later told reporters that crowds have the "right to cheer who they want to cheer."

"I'm not sure what Wimbledon can do about it. You can't remove a whole section of the crowd if they are misbehaving," he said.

"I respect true fans but if someone steps over the line I will react."

The 37-year-old Serb, still sporting a knee support on his right leg after undergoing surgery last month, set the tone for Monday's fourth-round tie when Rune failed to win a single point in the opening three games.

Djokovic saved a break point in the 10th game of the second set before carving out another key break in the first game of the third.

Rune said his fans started chanting his name in their distinctive, bellowing manner when the two men met for the first time at the US Open in 2021.

"It sounded a little bit like 'boo'. We played each other many more times, but more in Italy and France, where they don't pronounce my name the same way," he said.

"Now we're in England. If you don't know what was happening, probably it sounded like 'boo'. If he didn't remember, it could probably sound different for him."

Djokovic goes on to face Australian ninth seed Alex de Minaur for a place in the semifinals.

2024-07-09T16:18:05Z dg43tfdfdgfd