Novak Djokovic has caught the ire of the Italian crowd in Turin having taunted them as they booed the 24-time grand slam champion in his loss to Jannik Sinner. Italian home favourite Sinner played one of the best matches this year to defeat Djokovic in three-sets and lead the group in the ATP Finals.
Having won both his clashes, with one against Holger Rune ahead, Sinner could fancy his chances in Turin. While the 22-year-old was thrilled to come away with the victory, Djokovic became frustrated with the crowd cheering on the home favourite.
And this saw him orchestrate some boos during a changeover. In the first set, Djokovic served a double fault and the crowd cheered for Sinner.
This clearly frustrated Djokovic on his own serve. And the 36-year-old champion mockingly applauded the crowd for their etiquette.
During the changeover, Djokovic was then seen gesturing to the crowd to get louder as they booed him. Sinner went on to win the match in an electric atmosphere.
The Italian was thrilled with the win and thanked the crowd for getting behind him against the World No.1 and three-time grand slam champ in 2023. "There doesn't exist a better place to beat the world No.1," Sinner said in front of the adoring crowd, who interrupted with "Olé, Olé, Olé Olé, Sin-ner, Sin-ner."
"After Wimbledon I said I felt a bit closer but I didn't even win a set. Here I managed to play the most important points in the best way. There was a bit of tension when I lost the second set, it was very hard, but together with you (the crowd) we won together." While the Serbian remained calm during the crowd frenzy, fans on social media pointed out the drama with many divided over Djokovic's gesture and how the crowd reacted.
#Djokovic enjoys playing the bad guy as he orchestrates the crowd who were booing him after he was questioning quite a few let calls saying they favoured #Sinner & not him. There was more gamesmanship from Novak today as he delayed Jannik's serve multiple times- changing racquets… https://t.co/Y5iY0z5Izp
— Hidden truth Guru (@rajeshworld) November 14, 2023
I just don’t understand the histrionics.
— Rennae Stubbs 🇦🇺👍🏼 (@rennaestubbs) November 14, 2023
I am, much as I respect his ability and strength of will and some of the stuff he does (heart is in the right place)" decidedly not a Djokovic fan. Am a big Rafa fan. Very happy Jannik won today (and happy for Jannik).
But the crowd today was a disgrace
— Jac (@JacCooper1) November 14, 2023
Djokovic conducting the crowd is hysterical
— The Big Three (@Big3Tennis) November 14, 2023
Djokovic winding up the crowd pic.twitter.com/5VaSuKgSMr
— Craig Gabriel (@crosscourt1) November 14, 2023
Djokovic doing what he always does - riling up the crowd to disrupt the match tempo and give him momentum.
He does it almost every game now.
So boring. #NittoATPFinals
— Dan. (@fodeballertoure) November 14, 2023
Oh no, another disrespectful crowd booing poor tennis players.
How could that be?
— Soros Gullneck (@gullneck) November 14, 2023
Jannik Sinner enjoying brilliant 2023 season
Sinner was knocked out in straight sets to Djokovic at Wimbledon this year, but the level of his game had many believing he could take it to the next level. The 22-year-old has won four titles this year, including the Toronto Masters.
The Italian is facing Rune in the final group stage clash with a win guaranteeing him top position. He will be in contention to play Daniil Medvedev, Carlos Alcaraz, Andrey Rublev or Alexander Zverev in the next stage.
Alcaraz will have a big mountain to climb having lost his opening clash against Zverev in the other group. This marked his third straight loss in consecutive tournaments, following a drop in form after the US Open.
The 21-year-old faces Rublev in the next match with both needing a victory to remain alive in the group.
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