Not only did Novak Djokovic have to overcome Matteo Berrettini in the Wimbledon final, he also had to overcome a packed Centre Court crowd.
As is customary at Wimbledon, spectators loudly cheered the underdog in Sunday's final, with hardly any love for Djokovic whenever he won points.
'INCREDIBLE': Fans erupt over Novak Djokovic victory speech
Djokovic has never been a fan favourite in the tennis world, and those in attendance were desperate for a final that went the distance.
So Berrettini was loudly cheered whenever he won points, while Djokovic received only a smattering of applause.
Tennis writer Ben Rothenberg noted on Twitter: “These are some loud ‘Matt-e-o!’ chants”, while Aussie journalist Adam Peacock tweeted: “Novak could be playing a parking officer and still have minority support.”
And the pro-Berrettini crowd seemed to get under Djokovic's skin in the second set after he saved two break points to take a 4-2 lead.
“I can’t hear you,” the World No.1 could be heard saying sarcastically to fans.
One TV commentator remarked: “That’s a very strong hold and that’s full of character. Who do you think you’re dealing with here? The best player of all time.
“To come here and win five times, ‘You still don’t love me? How dare you’.”
Another commentator added: “That’s exactly the conversation he’s having.”
Social media users were left gobsmacked at how little crowd support Djokovic was receiving considering he is now a six-time champion at the All England Club.
Take that, disrespectful English crowd. 👍🏾
— gєяяα∂ (NOLE 20 🏆) (@gdrixy) July 11, 2021
❗Why won't they show him the respect he earned/deserves 😔
— Maryam مريـم (@iKlimt) July 11, 2021
Novak’s response to the massive bullying from the @Wimbledon crowd? He wins ! 💪🏻
— Zina Ieseanu (@zina_ieseanu) July 11, 2021
This wimbledon crowd is a disgrace - why does djokovic get so muhc disrespect
— ! (@GoaIKepa) July 11, 2021
- The Crowd if Matteo makes an error: Aaaw… Come on Matteo!
- The Crowd if Djokovic makes an error: Yeaah! Come on Matteo!
The most disgusting crowd in Tennis
— who is riffo (@SebaHRC) July 11, 2021
Just look at the cheer from crowd of centre court whenever Djokovic's opponent wins a point. Disgusting, makes you support Nole even more. #Wimbledon
— 🕉️ (@RSD270) July 11, 2021
— Aijaz Khan (@Iamaijazkhan) July 11, 2021
Novak Djokovic declares himself the greatest ever
Speaking after the match, Djokovic’s coach Goran Ivanisevic said his player is used to not receiving crowd support.
“The crowd, it’s normal they were for Matteo, they want him," he said.
"But still he (Djokovic) is amazing. He doesn’t want to go.
"Like in the movies. You have to kill the guy 27 times and still he gets up and you have to kill him again and he gets up, he gets up. He just, you can’t.”
Making it clear on Centre Court that he's not content, Djokovic declared that "an incredible journey is not stopping here".
Asked if he considered himself the best male player of the Open era, Djokovic said: "I consider myself best and I believe that I am the best - otherwise I wouldn't be talking confidently about winning slams and making history.
"But whether I'm the greatest of all-time or not, I leave that debate to other people.
"But I am extremely honoured to definitely be part of the conversation."
He paid tribute to Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal but sounded like a man ready to eclipse them by going on to complete the calendar grand slam only ever achieved by the great Australian Rod Laver in the Open era.
"Well, I can definitely envision that happening. I'm definitely going to give it a shot," he said.
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