Novak Djokovic divides fans amid 'awful' Wimbledon crowd scenes

Tennis fans have flooded social media in response to the Serbian star's act.

Seen here, Novak Djokovic reacts to the crowd in his Wimbledon semi-final win.
Novak Djokovic had a running battle with the crowd in his Wimbledon semi-final win. Pic: Getty

Novak Djokovic has proven again that he's one of the most polarising players in tennis after ugly crowd scenes at Wimbledon left fans divided on social media. The Serb set up a clash with World No.1 Carlos Alcaraz in the final after seeing off Italian eighth seed Jannik Sinner 6-3 6-4 7-6 (7-4) in their semi-final.

The Serb had to overcome a controversial hindrance call and an often hostile Centre Court crowd to book his spot in a record-breaking 35th grand slam singles final of his career. Having endured boos from some sections of the crowd, Djokovic's patience appeared to run out in the third set when a hackler shouted something out as he was preparing to serve.

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Djokovic was down two break points at the time, with Sinner in a strong position to pull a set back after losing the opening two stanzas. The Serb appealed to the chair umpire before sarcastically clapping his hands and giving the disruptive spectator the most disingenuous thumbs-up as he regathered his composure.

Incredibly, the Serb saved both break points before mocking the heckler by cupping his ear in the direction of the spectator. Djokovic's gesture did not go down with the crowd, as boos rang out from the stands in scenes that merely fired up the seven-time champion even more.

When Djokovic eventually held serve, he used the moment to take another shot at the hostile crowd by pretending to cry as he walked back to his seat. Some viewers hit out at the antics of the Serb on social media, while others praised him for giving it back to the crowd. Either way, there was no denying it was pure tennis theatre.

Tennis fans divided over Novak Djokovic crowd antics

Novak Djokovic rises above drama to surge into final

Djokovic was able to brush off the crowd and a hindrance controversy that saw him slapped with a point penalty in the second set after the chair umpire judged that long grunt was a distraction for Sinner. The Serb - like most across the tennis world - was left in shock by the call and said afterwards that it "could have changed the course of the match" as he “felt really nervous after that call”.

“It’s never happened to me, I don’t normally have an extended grunt,” he said. “Maybe it was an echo from the roof or something like this,” he added to laughs from the crowd. I don’t actually feel like I was causing any hindrance to my opponent, but OK. But it’s a call I have to respect”.

Carlos Alcaraz out to stop Novak Djokovic in final

Standing in Djokovic's way of achieving a record-equalling eighth Wimbledon crown - and 24th grand slam title that would put him alongside Aussie great Margaret Court's all-time record - is World No.1 Alcaraz. The 20-year-old became the youngest man to reach the final since fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal in 2006 with a commanding 6-3 6-3 6-3 victory over Russian third seed, Medvedev.

Seen here, Carlos Alcaraz celebrates after beating Daniil Medvedev in their Wimbledon semi-final.
Carlos Alcaraz beat Daniil Medvedev in their Wimbledon semi-final to make his first decider at The All England Club. Pic: Getty

Medvedev had been playing superb grass-court tennis over the last fortnight but he was no match for the classy Spaniard, who is playing in just his fourth professional tournament on grass. Medvedev was barely in the match until a couple of breaks of serve were exchanged in the third set but even then Alcaraz finished off the Russian with a brutal forehand - his 27th winner of the semi-final.

“This one probably was one of my best matches, not only on grass but on the tour,” Alcaraz said. “I rate it like eight out of 10, something like that.

“It was amazing for me. I showed a great level. Yeah, probably one of my best matches.” Alcaraz will no doubt have to go to an even greater level to win the final against Djokovic, who has now won 34 straight matches at Wimbledon and not lost on Centre Court since 2013.

“It gives you extra motivation. I think it’s more special to play the final against a legend from our sport," Alcaraz added. “If I win, it could be amazing for me – not only win a Wimbledon title but to do it against Novak would be super special. But I always say if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best. Novak is one of them. It would be great if I can do it.”

with agencies

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