Novak Djokovic's telling act after 'pathetic' drama at French Open

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·Sports Editor
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Novak Djokovic, pictured here leaving the court without acknowledging fans.
Novak Djokovic didn't acknowledge the crowd as he made his way from the court at the French Open. Image: Getty

Novak Djokovic made a lightning-quick exit and failed to acknowledge the crowd after he was savagely booed in his quarter-final loss to Rafa Nadal at the French Open on Tuesday.

Nadal advanced to the semi-finals after a blockbuster clash with Djokovic, the 13-time champion prevailing 6-2 4-6 6-2 7-6 (4).

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Nadal needed more than four hours to move one step closer to his record-extending 22nd major title, and will meet Alexander Zverev on Thursday for a place in Sunday's final.

The French Open crowd was delighted to see the 13-time champion advance, but their treatment of Djokovic left many with a sour taste in their mouths.

The World No.1 was loudly booed as he made his way onto court and was jeered by fans throughout the match.

There were loud boos once again when Djokovic smashed the net with his racquet in an ugly outburst in the fourth set, while some fans even took aim at the Serbian star when he won points.

Needless to say, Djokovic wasn't happy with the crowd's antics and showed it during his post-match exit.

The 20-time grand slam champion quickly packed his bags and made his way off court, failing to acknowledge fans with a customary wave.

TV viewers noticed the telling move and took to social media to point it out.

Some labelled Djokovic a sore loser, while others felt he had every right after the poor treatment.

Speaking at the start of the match, John McEnroe said: “No other player has had to deal with more adversity.

"It is unfair, I’ve got to say that. This guy has turned lemons into lemonade more often than any player in the history of tennis, and if you don’t think it bothers him, you’re nuts.

"He is so mentally tough that he can deal with this and somehow channel that anger and frustration over what he feels is a lack of respect - and I feel it is too.”

Rafa Nadal, pictured here as Novak Djokovic leaves the court at the French Open.
Rafa Nadal looks on as Novak Djokovic leaves the court. (Photo by CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP via Getty Images)

Rafa Nadal and Alexander Zverev in semi-final clash

Earlier, Zverev beat a fellow top-10 player at a grand slam for the first time in a dozen attempts, overcoming Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz.

The World No.3 won their pulsating quarter-final clash 6-4 6-4 4-6 7-6 (9-7) in three hours and 18 minutes.

Nadal's clash with Djokovic then began a little past 9pm Paris time and concluded at 1:12am on Wednesday.

Nadal ended the top-seeded Djokovic's bid for a second-consecutive title at the French Open and made sure the Serb remains behind him in the grand slam count with 20.

Having already survived a five-set thriller against Felix Auger Aliassime in the fourth round, Nadal found the resources to knock off Djokovic in four sets despite being a break down in the fourth.

Carlos Alcaraz and Alexander Zverev, pictured here after their quarter-final clash at the French Open.
Carlos Alcaraz and Alexander Zverev embrace after their quarter-final clash at the French Open. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

The Spaniard, who turns 36 on Friday, improved to 110-3 all-time at Roland Garros, with two of those losses coming against Djokovic (including in the semi-finals last year).

This match was the 59th head-to-head meeting of their storied careers - more than any other men have played each other in the Open era.

With the win, Nadal narrowed Djokovic's overall lead to 30-29.

Zverev earlier raced to a two-set lead, with Alcaraz making a string of unforced errors. But then the 19-year-old woke up, taking the third and holding set point in a gripping fourth-set tiebreak.

But Zverev managed to save it before winning on his second match point.

"I knew I had to play my best all match," Zverev said.

"I am extremely happy I won the tiebreak. The match was turning his way. I told him at the net he will win this tournament. I hope I can win it before he starts beating us all."

with AAP

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