Novak Djokovic loses his cool with a fan who called ‘Out!’ midpoint during US Open quarterfinals match against Taylor Fritz
- The 36-year-old defeated Fritz – ATP’s No. 9 seed – in straight sets on Wednesday
- Djokovic will make his 10th US Open Final appearance if he wins again on Friday
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Novak Djokovic was furious with a fan who yelled ‘Out!’ midpoint in his quarterfinals match against Taylor Fritz on Wednesday, as the Serbian ultimately lost his focus and the rally too, shortly afterwards.
The 36-year-old then appeared to get into an exchange with someone in his own box as the outburst led to him losing the breakpoint and eventually the game.
Djokovic, however, emerged victorious against Fritz – the highest-ranked American and No. 9 seed in ATP rankings – 6-1, 6-4, 6-4, after asking for the fan to be removed from the stands.
‘He was actually in the box where some of my friends were. I don’t know who the guy was; but yeah, I was pretty annoyed by him at that point. I was communicating with my friends to have a little chat with him,’ Djokovic said.
‘I’m actually glad the crowd wants to get into it, because it means the match is interesting, that they want to be part of it, that they’re having fun. At the end of the day, they pay to come and watch you play, so we try to put on a show. … Sometimes [they] might have an interaction with the player, like this guy. I’m sorry for him, but he was really annoying at that point.’
Novak Djokovic was livid with a fan who yelled ‘Out!’ midpoint on Wednesday at the US Open
The 36-year-old Serb exchanged words with his box after losing the point to USA’s Taylor Fritz
Djokovic then quickly brushed off any lingering feelings he may have had towards the crowd during the match by leading fans into an impromptu sing-along of the Beastie Boys’ ‘Fight For you Right’ in his postgame interview.
‘It’s expected, of course, that people are backing the home player. And there’s nothing wrong with that,’ Djokovic said of a section of fans rooting for Fritz to beat him.
‘I actually like the energy, like the atmosphere on center court here … people are getting into it.’
With the temperature once again nudging towards 100 Fahrenheit (38 Celsius), Djokovic wasted no time in the scorching heat, breaking the 25-year-old Fritz three times before ending the first set with a booming ace. He never took his foot off the gas afterwards and won in straight sets.
The fickle New York crowd has never really fully embraced the holder of the all-time record number of Grand Slams in men’s singles titles (23) and Djokovic is likely to find himself increasingly unpopular later on this week.
Djokovic will go on to make his 10th US Open final appearance if he beats Ben Shelton, Friday
Not since Andy Roddick in 2003 has an American man won the U.S. Open and the World’s current No. 2 could single-handedly dash home hopes of ending that drought.
Having eliminated Fritz he now finds 20-year-old Shelton standing between him and a 10th trip to the final.
‘It’s normal, it’s logical to expect that most of the crowd would support the home player,’ said Djokovic. ‘That’s probably going to be the case on Friday, but I’ll be ready for it.
‘I’m trying to enjoy the moments on the court, but there is so much stress and pressure going on that it’s hard to have fun on the court.
‘It’s really about finding a way to navigate through the match and win a tennis match for me.’