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Novak Djokovic holds unhealthy grudge at Wimbledon and he has stepped over the line


Novak Djokovic’s rant at the Wimbledon fans on Monday night was astonishing and uncalled for. He stepped over the line by tearing into the Centre Court crowd – but it will probably inspire him to a record-breaking 25th Grand Slam title.

As with any sporting event when one of your home teams or players are not in action, the crowd want a dramatic finish.

All football fans watching Euro 2024 love a last-minute goal or penalty shootout.

F1 fans are more engaged when two drivers are battling wheel to wheel for the chequered flag.

And Boxing supporters want both fighters to be streaming with blood and trading blow-for-blow in the 12th round.

It doesn’t mean that they hate one person or another, or one team or another, it’s just the sheer excitement of late drama that makes sport so special.

That is exactly what those inside Centre Court were searching for on Monday night.

A comfortable straight-sets win, as magnificent as a sporting achievement it may be, doesn’t get the crowd going.

They wanted to help No.15 seed Holger Rune put up more of a fight because they could see him struggling.

They wanted their money’s worth with a five-set thriller. They did not hate Djokovic or disrespect him.

Chants of “Ruuuune” were incorrectly misheard by Djokovic as booing, which is fair enough.

It is a deep chant chant that echoed around Wimbledon’s main venue even more so with the roof closed.

In the heat of battle, it could be difficult to interpret what was being said.

But he was informed by the umpire during the match that the crowd did not boo. He was also told by the on-court interviewer.

I was on Centre Court for the match and did not hear on single person boo Djokovic. There were more chants for Rune than the world No.2, but I did not hear anybody shout anything out of order.

However, Djokovic was adamant that the crowd were “disrespecting” him. If they were really against him, they wouldn’t have clapped when he twice rose to his feet after slipping on the grass in the third set.

The Serb has moaned numerous times before about the Wimbledon fans and has held a grudge for many years.

In the past, Djokovic has been the Wimbledon villain, rocking up later than Britain’s darling Roger Federer and beating him at the All England Club did not go down well with the UK public.

Djokovic was unfairly booed and had very little support when he played Federer in the 2019 final. He says he used that as motivation to save two match points and win the epic five-set thriller.

In 2022 he taunted Centre Court fans by blowing kisses to them after beating British star Cameron Norrie in the semi-finals.

On both of those occasions, the Wimbledon crowd were firmly against Djokovic.

And he has clearly been clinging on to that grudge.

But if there is one thing we have learned from the past – Djokovic’s powers become stronger when he feels that everybody is against him.

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