Novak Djokovic unleashes on Wimbledon crowd: 'You guys can't touch me'

Djokovic defeated Holger Rune in the fourth round at Wimbledon but what he said afterward was almost as noteworthy.
Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon 2024
Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon 2024 / Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

Novak Djokovic looks all the way back from a recent operation on his knee as he shows no ill effects from the surgery he had a month ago. He has yet to truly be tested at Wimbledon and he dispatched Holger Rune in the fourth round in three sets as if Rune was just beginning to play professional tennis. The crowd might have affected the match, though.

During the match, some spectators began what sounded like booing. Broadcast commentators told us that what the audience was actually saying was "Ruuuuune" after the Danish player did something well. The sound of Rune also sounds like booing, of course.

Djokovic was having none of it during the match and certainly not afterward. In fact, at one point as both players sat on their respective chairs, the Serb seemed to be talking to Rune about what the crowd was doing. Both smiled and there seemed to be no animosity, but how the Serb felt about some of the people watching the event was likely different.

Novak Djokovic lets the Wimbledon crowd know exactly how he feels

Novak Djokovic was miffed. He would say during his on-court post-match interview that he has been playing on the ATP tour far too long to think there was not quite of bit of booing the players and using the sound of "Rune" as an excuse. Of course, interaction between the 24-time Grand Slam champion and an audience is nothing new, but we usually don't get to hear Djokovic chastise the crowd to their faces.

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The Serb said in part, " all those people that have chosen to disrespect the player - in this case, me - have a goooood night...I know they were cheering for Rune. But that's an excuse to also boo. Listen, I've been on the tour for more than 20 years. So, trust me, I know all the tricks...I focus on the respectful people, that have respect, that paid a ticket to watch tonight - and love tennis...I played in much more hostile environments, trust me. You guys can't touch me."

Holger Rune was asked about the same issue with the crowd and dismissed the "booing." He kind of had to, though. After all, if people were not jeering Djokovic then they were cheering for the Dane. He did admit that Djokovic was simply the better player so no matter what the audience was doing had little bearing on his play.

Djokovic next plays in the quarterfinals on Wednesday. He will take on Alex de Minaur. The players have met three times before with the Serb winning two of them.

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