Novak Djokovic has fired back at a Wimbledon reporter during a bizarre press conference moment after his quarter-final win against Marton Fucsovics.
The World No.1 booked his spot in the semi-finals of the grand slam tournament with an impressive 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win against the Hungarian.
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Djokovic, chasing a record-equalling 20th Grand Slam title, will face Denis Shapovalov of Canada for a place in the final.
The Serb is now just two wins away from equalling the record number of career grand slam titles (20) jointly held by rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
The five-time Wimbledon champion - who is into his 10th semi-final at the All England Club and 41st in his career at the slams - was forced to face down a journalist after the match after being asked what it felt like to be the "bad guy" of the sport.
Djokovic's first questioner at his post-match news conference asked "what has it been like to be something of the 'bad guy' chasing after Roger and Rafa all these years?"
"I don't consider myself a bad guy. I mean, that's your opinion," said 34-year-old Djokovic after his 100th career grass court win.
"I'm not chasing anybody. I'm making my own path and my own journey, my own history. I'm privileged to be part of history of this sport that I love.
"As I said on the court, I know about a lot of stats. I don't know about all of them. But they do motivate me even more to play my best tennis at the events that count the most in our sport."
Unsurprisingly, the journalist's provocative question caused quite a stir on social media.
One of worst opening questions I've ever heard in a press conference, good lord.
Q. What has it been like to be something of the 'bad guy' chasing after Roger and Rafa all these years?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don't consider myself a bad guy. I mean, that's your opinion...#Wimbledon
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) July 7, 2021
Yeah. That was in response to a question asking him, “How does it feel 2b the bad guy chasing the other2?” Horrible question, designed2provoke. Brilliant response from our man.
— Susan (@Noleslam) July 7, 2021
— Kaya (@kayalistik) July 7, 2021
Djoković will always be portrayed as the “bad guy”, which is simply ridiculous 🤡
— Ивана (@ivxnxr) July 7, 2021
Novak Djokovic 🇷🇸 was asked by a journalist how does it feel to be the "Bad Guy" and you'll be amazed by the professionalism he showed while answering the question! 😍❤️#Wimbledon #Wimbledon2021 #Tennis #Djokovic #NovakDjokovic pic.twitter.com/m6MKl9MIWZ
— Khel Now (@KhelNow) July 7, 2021
Djokovic will take a 6-0 career head-to-head advantage over 22-year-old Shapovalov into their match on Friday.
The Canadian left-hander will be playing in his first Grand Slam semi-final.
"We played a tight two-set this year in the ATP Cup, which was the first opening official match for him and I of the season," added Djokovic.
"The courts at the Australian Open are pretty quick this year so I could get a little bit of an understanding of how well he's serving, if he's serving well, you know, how difficult it is to play against him."
Calendar year Slam in Djoker's sights
Djokovic became only the third man to capture all four majors more than once with his second French Open victory last month.
Now he is halfway to becoming the first man since 1969, and only the third in history, to complete a calendar Grand Slam of all four majors.
"I love this sport with all my heart, body and soul and have been devoted to it since I was four," he said.
"Sometimes things do look surreal for me but I try to live in the moment and take every opportunity I have on the court.
"Going for history is a huge inspiration for me, let's keep it going."
Djokovic raced into a 5-0 lead in the first set on Wednesday before 29-year-old Fucsovics got on the board.
The world number 48, bidding to become the first Hungarian man since 1948 to make the semi-finals at Wimbledon, saved five set points.
However, the rearguard action was too late to prevent the champion edging ahead.
The top seed broke for the only time in the second set in the ninth game which was enough for a two sets lead.
Djokovic had spent three hours fewer than the muscular Fucsovics in getting to the last-eight and his freshness showed when he crucially broke in the first game of the third set and then fought off two break points in the sixth.
"From one side it was pushing from the back and the balls didn't come to me, so I had to go to the ball and try to play with more spin," said Fucsovics.
"If not, the ball was flying away. From the other side, I felt that Novak put a lot of pressure on me. He put a lot of balls on the court. He didn't want to hit a big winner, just to make me miss.
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