Novak Djokovic at centre of 'disgraceful' scenes at French Open

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·Sports Editor
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Novak Djokovic, pictured here in action against Diego Schwartzman at the French Open.
Novak Djokovic in action against Diego Schwartzman at the French Open. (Photo by Ibrahim Ezzat/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Spectators at the French Open have been condemned around the tennis world after Novak Djokovic was booed before and during his clash with Diego Schwartzman on Sunday.

Djokovic showed glimpses of his brilliant best to demolish Schwartzman 6-1 6-3 6-3 and secure a record 16th appearance in the Roland Garros quarter-finals.

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He will now face Rafa Nadal in a blockbuster quarter-final after the Spanish champion beat Felix Auger-Aliassime 3-6 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-3 in a five-set epic.

While Djokovic was untroubled by Schwartzman, he did run into some issues with the French Open crowd.

The World No.1 was loudly booed as he walked out onto court on Sunday, while he was also jeered and booed at various stages throughout the match.

At one stage after the Serbian star hit a winner he cupped his ear towards the crowd as if to say: "I can't hear you now".

"I think there’s both cheering and a little bit of booing as well," Alize Lim said in commentary for Eurosport.

"I don’t like that. Come on, [it's] the World No 1. That’s not respectful.

"It sounds like a football match now already the way they are screaming."

Novak Djokovic, pictured here in front of the French Open crowd at Roland Garros.
Novak Djokovic was booed by the French Open crowd in ugly scenes at Roland Garros. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Co-commentator Alex Corretja also slammed the fans, saying: "I don't like that. It's Novak Djokovic. He has given us so much.

"Just support both and enjoy the match. I hate it when they don't respect the players or boo them."

Coaching great Patrick Mouratoglou was also scathing of the crowd's actions, saying fans should stay home if they don't want to watch Djokovic.

“It makes no sense to whistle Djokovic," he said.

"If we don’t like it, we have the right not to come, it’s allowed."

TV viewers were also left fuming, taking to social media to express their anger.

Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal to meet in quarter-final

Djokovic's pace was too much for Schwartzman, who barely threatened despite enjoying a 3-0 lead in the second set.

From then on it was all one-way traffic and Djokovic won 12 of the remaining 15 games on a chilly Court Suzanne Lenglen against the Argentine - a semi-finalist at Roland Garros in 2020.

"I have a lot of respect for him. He's good guy on and off the court and he's a clay-court specialist so it's not easy, especially in slow conditions today with a ball that was not bouncing high," said Djokovic.

"I found the good serves at the right moments."

Djokovic has now reached the last eight in Paris for the 13th year in a row and is yet to drop a set at this year's tournament.

Rafa Nadal, pictured here after beating Felix Auger-Aliassime at the French Open.
Rafa Nadal celebrates after beating Felix Auger-Aliassime at the French Open. (Photo by Antonio Borga/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)

As for Nadal, Sunday marked just the third time in his 112 matches at Roland Garros that he has been taken to a fifth set.

However he managed to keep his blemish-free record intact, wrapping up the win in four hours and 21 minutes to wild applause from the crowd.

The 21-time grand slam champion will hope he can recover in time from the gruelling contest for his 59th career meeting against defending champion Djokovic.

The Spaniard, who will turn 36 on Friday, has lifted the French Open trophy a record 13 times but was beaten in the semi-finals last year by Djokovic.

"Of course, we know each other well. We have a lot of history together," Nadal said.

"I am going to be focused, I will try my best. I don't know what will happen but I will fight until the end."

with AAP

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