'Double standards': Novak Djokovic divides fans after 'disgraceful' scenes
Novak Djokovic and the British crowd have never been the greatest of pairings at Wimbledon, but the level of 'hostility' from the crowd in the World No.1's most recent match prompted unsavoury scenes.
Djokovic was at his superb best after dismantling American qualifier Denis Kudla 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (9-7) win on Friday to extend his winning streak in grand slams to 17 matches.
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But, despite the straight sets win, the match wasn't without its animosity and drama.
Djokovic hasn't always shared the warmest relationship with the British public compared to the likes of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
However, the crowd perturbed many viewers watching around the world after they became very vocal about their support for the underdog Kudla.
While Djokovic is accustomed to this from time to time throughout his career, the World No.1 certainly let his feelings made towards members of the crowd.
At one point in the match, Djokovic faced a section of the crowd.
Djokovic let out a huge roar after winning the point before fist pumping numerous times in the direction of a raucous section.
The moment divided fans around the world.
Many fans felt the crowd was being overly 'hostile' towards arguably the greatest tennis player of all time.
This prompted fans to slam the crowd's lack of respect for the champion as 'disgraceful'.
Djokovic is playing some of the best tennis the Wimbledon crowd will EVER see- and still they support the other guy! Go Djoker #Wimbledon2021
— David Weber (@davidpeterweber) July 2, 2021
Djokovic already spent far too long indulging this crowd with this interview. Should have just said ‘Are you not entertained’ then dropped the mic and walked off like a Don. #Wimbledon
— VUC 👆 (@vuc9) July 2, 2021
What's with these commentators getting excited whenever Djokovic loses a point , if disgraceful British crowd wasn't enough...#Wimbledon2021 #Wimbledon
— Ashish P (@IBSfighter) July 2, 2021
Why, I mean why everyone is against him, seeing the crowd at Wimbledon and at many more tournaments is frustrating.
Everyone who plays against djokovic is a crowd favourite. If it was Nadal & Federer, would it be the same,
No, never. It's shame. #Wimbledon #Djokovic #Kulda https://t.co/1BReYo6iUm
— Vishal Singh (@Singh08641203) July 2, 2021
That I know but isn't it disrespect? People hate him bcoz he has challenged Federer & Nadal and now on the way to surpass them.
— Vishal Singh (@Singh08641203) July 2, 2021
Why does the @Wimbledon crowd not support Djokovic? He's a master at his craft and superb to watch. Jealous much? #Wimbledon @DjokerNole
— Lynn Greer (@Lynn_The_Bin) July 2, 2021
They just never learn. Crowd hostility is just what Djokovic thrives on. https://t.co/rNRD8fqdjq
— Dicco (@Diccoooo) July 2, 2021
#Wimbledon was Tim Henman watching the Andy Murray match the other evening when he was roaring at the crowd. Described as great ‘passion ‘ then but when Djokovic does it, it’s an issue that needs to be raised at the Press Conference. Double standards
— Roger Turner #FBPE #OurNHSWorkers #3.5% (@dodgemeisterT) July 2, 2021
While plenty felt Djokovic's 'puzzling' reaction towards the crowd is the embodiment of why he finds himself at odds with many supporters around the globe.
#Djokovic was very frustrated by the crowd supporting his opponent #Kudla & he really had a go at them particularly in the 2nd set & end of the match as well. That's not the best way to get the crowd on his side though. #Wimbledon pic.twitter.com/w7HjPau7Ru
— SportsTalk (@rajeshworld) July 2, 2021
Frankly, I love watching Djokovic but find his aggressive behavior puzzling, given that he's leading comfortably. I don't know how it can be justified, honestly. Plenty of crowd support for him too today, so he can't really hang on to that.
— 3shul (@neptunes_spear_) July 2, 2021
Djokovic is demonstrating why so many dislike him. His opponent gets some crowd support and he can’t hack it, gets aggressive and screams at the crowd. #Wimbledon
— Richard Tompkins (@RETompkins) July 2, 2021
Regardless of the crowd support, Djokovic sent down another marker to his rivals as he looks to equal Federer and Nadal's record of 20 Grand Slam titles.
Novak Djokovic advances at Wimbledon
Djokovic also took another step towards a sixth Wimbledon crown, the third leg of the calendar-year grand slam, and a record-equalling 20th major title.
He can even still emulate Steffi Graf in 1988 when she won all four grand slams and gold at the Olympics - a feat yet to be repeated.
The 34-year-old had described his second-round victory over Kevin Anderson as "flawless", but he did not remotely hit those heights against the American qualifier.
Djokovic spent much of the third round encounter cruising on auto-pilot but there were moments when the going got tough for the Serb against the 114th-ranked Kudla.
His unforced error count was up significantly on the six he registered against Anderson - this time he made 28.
Djokovic, however, knows how to turn up the volume, literally at times, and accompanied by a few chest-thumping shouts, he dug deep to subdue the fiery Kudla.
"I have to give credit to Denis for playing very well, the third set was very close. He's a great guy and I wish him all the best," Djokovic said on court.
"He was unlucky in the tiebreak and somehow I managed to find a way to win.
"You have to give your maximum at what for me is the biggest tournament."
Djokovic's Third Round victory also meant he became the first person in men's tennis history to win at least 75 matches in all four Grand Slams.
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