Novak Djokovic has produced what many have labelled one the most surreal interview moments in recent sporting history after belting out a rendition of the Beastie Boys at the US Open. The 23-time major champion advanced to the 47th grand slam semi-final of his career on Wednesday, beating Taylor Fritz 6-1 6-4 6-4.
In doing so, he broke Roger Federer's all-time record for most appearances in grand slam semi-finals. But the majority of the talk after the match centered around Djokovic's bizarre actions in his on-court interview.
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Discussing the victory with Aussie commentator Rennae Stubbs, Djokovic spoke about how he was made to fight by Fritz. He said: "As the song went about five minutes ago (in Arthur Ashe Stadium), you've got to fight for your right to party."
Stubbs then began to ask the next question, but Djokovic interjected and broke out into a rendition of the Beastie Boys song 'Fight for Your Right'. The World No.2 got the crowd to join in and sing along with him.
Stubbs couldn't help but laugh, as fans applauded the quirky moment from Djokovic. However the strange scenes left fans divided on social media. While some praised the Serbian star for showing some personality, others described it as "cringe" and "embarrassing".
I'm not sure what I just watched, but I think I love it. Novak is a legend.
— Rob (@robmackx) September 5, 2023
Novak is so adorable.. He makes everything nice.
— Zulu - fan of Novak Djokovic ❤ (@zulufanofnovak) September 5, 2023
I don't know how he can be so unlikeable on the court and so likeable off the court 🤷♂️
— Paul Simpson (@PaulSimpson4) September 5, 2023
Lmao Djokovic leading Arthur Ashe in singing “you’ve gotta fight for the right to party” is hysterical
— Will (@twentee7) September 5, 2023
Djokovic just most cringe bloke on planet
— Jack Furlong (@JMF2693) September 5, 2023
Djokovic singing Beastie boys was something I didn’t expect…
— Adam_Addicott (@AdamAddicott) September 5, 2023
Djokovic singing a Beastie Boys anthem at the US Open was not on my bingo card https://t.co/lhNsXV7uFb
— Brian Bonner (@Indy92) September 5, 2023
Djokovic singing ‘Fight For Your Right’ is so giving me the ick !!!
— Blaine Volpe (@Blaine_Volpe) September 5, 2023
Talented but cringe.
— Asha Curran (@RadioFreeAsha) September 5, 2023
His desperate attempts at gaining fans is laughably cringe every match.
— Gamuel Sriffin (@S__G__25) September 5, 2023
Novak Djokovic has sights set on 24th grand slam title
Djokovic is on course for a fourth US Open crown that would see him match Margaret Court's all-time record haul of 24 grand slam titles. He produced a clinical display amid stifling temperatures on Wednesday, improving his record against American opponents at the US Open to a perfect 12-0.
Fritz's campaign might be over, but the US is guaranteed at least one player in the men's semi-finals with Frances Tiafoe and Ben Shelton meeting in an all-American clash on Arthur Ashe later on Wednesday. "It's expected of course that people are backing the home player and there is nothing wrong with that," Djokovic said. "I actually like the energy, like the atmosphere on centre court here.
"Day sessions, night sessions, people are getting into it. I'm fine with that. I thrive on that energy and try to use it as a fuel. I've been playing on this court for so many years, so many epic matches, I can't wait for another one in a few days time."
Fritz has never beaten a top-10 player at a grand slam and his record against Djokovic is now 0-8. The American rolled into the quarter-finals in sensational form as the only player to not drop a set so far, having been broken only once in 50 service games.
But Djokovic wasted little time in ending both of those runs, breaking Fritz three times and then taking the first set with a booming ace. Fritz finally held serve to open the second, but was soon feeling the pressure again with Djokovic breaking the ninth seed a fourth time to go ahead 2-1 and close out the set in the same emphatic style.
With the crowd getting behind him, Fritz offered up more resistance in the third set, but couldn't find a way back into the match. The 36-year-old Djokovic got the decisive break at 5-4 and then held serve - improving to 13-0 in US Open quarter-finals.
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