Alex de Minaur accidentally put his foot in it with fans at the Laver Cup on Friday with a comment just moments before the final match of Roger Federer's career.
The Aussie star took down local favourite Andy Murray at the O2 Arena in London, scoring the first point for Team World against Team Europe with a 5-7 6-3 10-7 victory.
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'WHAT A JOKE': Roger Federer farewell rocked by 'appalling' farce
Fans in attendance were already unhappy with De Minaur considering his win over Murray, and they were even less impressed with his comments in a post-match interview.
De Minaur's clash with Murray came just before Federer and Rafa Nadal joined forces for a doubles match against Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe - the final match of Federer's storied career.
When asked about his win, De Minaur put his foot in it when he said he hoped his teammates could beat Federer and Nadal.
“I’m just glad I was able to get a win for Team World and hopefully we can get another in the doubles," he said.
However the innocent comment wasn't received well by a packed O2 Arena crowd desperate to see Federer win his farewell match.
De Minaur was mercilessly booed by some fans in attendance, with the Aussie star visibly taken aback by the reaction.
“It’s going to be a special match,” he added in an attempt to clarify his comments.
“I’m going to have popcorn out. It’s going to be a great match. Let’s make it an unbelievable atmosphere for 'Rog' one last time.”
De Minaur unwisely says he hopes that Team World can get another win in tonight's doubles.
BOOOS from the O2 Arena crowd
"You were doing so well" on-court interviewer Tim Henman says to De Minaur.
— Christopher Clarey 🇺🇸 🇫🇷 🇪🇸 (@christophclarey) September 23, 2022
Novak Djokovic shines in return at Laver Cup
Sadly for fans Federer and Nadal couldn't get the job done, falling to Sock and Tiafoe 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 11-9 to leave the event tied at 2-2 after the first day.
However Team Europe regained control on Saturday, with Novak Djokovic putting on a sparkling display despite not playing since July.
Djokovic produced a stunning performance to thrash Tiafoe 6-1 6-3 in his first match since winning Wimbledon nearly two months ago.
With Federer watching on from courtside the day after his emotional farewell, Djokovic returned to action in spell-binding fashion.
Tiafoe, a semi-finalist at the recent US Open, was helpless to stop the Djokovic onslaught.
The World No.7 was back on court later on Saturday evening, partner Italian Matteo Berrettini in a 7-5 6-2 doubles victory over Sock and De Minaur to give Bjorn Borg's Team Europe an 8-4 overall lead.
"I haven't played for a few months so happy to continue the run, it was a pretty decent match from my side, I have to say," Djokovic said on court.
Djokovic then paid tribute to Federer's emotional finale the previous night.
"It was one of the most beautiful moments I've witnessed in my life," he said.
Berrettini, who replaced 20-time grand slam champion Federer for the singles, won a hard-hitting duel against Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-6 (13-11) 4-6 10-7.
But American Taylor Fritz drew Team World level at 4-4 in the day's second match with a tight win against Cameron Norrie - who replaced Nadal after the Spaniard flew home to be with his pregnant wife.
Fritz won 6-1 4-6 10-8 as John McEnroe's Team World showed that they are made of sterner stuff this year, having been trounced 14-1 last year in Boston.
Individual matches were worth one point on Friday, two on Saturday and three on Sunday. Thirteen points are needed to claim the trophy.
— Laver Cup (@LaverCup) September 24, 2022
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