An ugly moment late in Novak Djokovic’s epic Wimbledon triumph over Roger Federer was widely slammed by pundits and fans.
Disliked for years in comparison to Federer and Rafael Nadal, Djokovic was clearly the second favourite during Sunday’s final at the All England Club.
The largely-pro Federer crowd roared with delight with every point he won, but fell somewhat silent when Djokovic did so.
In a tense moment in the fifth set with Djokovic holding championship point, Federer pounded a backhand return into the net, however Djokovic’s prior shot was called out.
Djokovic challenged the out call and was proven right, with Hawkeye showing the ball clipped the line.
The umpire ruled the point be replayed, however Djokovic enquired whether or not he should have won the point - and championship - because Federer’s subsequent shot was an error.
It was a fair question given the gravity of the situation, but the crowd loudly booed the World No.1.
The harsh treatment from spectators caused outrage.
I'm glad Djokovic won after all the unsporting booing from the crowd. Terrible! #WimbledonFinal— Camilla Long (@camillalong) July 14, 2019
I get that it’s a pro-Federer crowd but the booing of Djokovic at Wimbledon was undeserved and sort of pathetic. Good, fair match. 🎾— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) July 14, 2019
Hearing the #Wimbledon crowd boo Djokovic is making me feel physically sick...— Jack Parrock (@jackeparrock) July 14, 2019
I’ve always found the #Wimbledon crowd nauseating/annoying (let’s giggle at stuff like the ball going slightly over the net).— Rob Harries (@robharries83) July 14, 2019
I wanted Fed to win, but to boo Djokovic for having the temerity to speak to the umpire was poor/typical.
He is ALSO one of the greatest of all time.
I can't get over the booing. WTF do they think they are? Novak can't argue his case? That's not allowed? Furious. #Wimbledon— Beeb at the Beeb (@BibiLynch) July 14, 2019
Wimbledon fans booing Djokovic for querying a decision. Bit harsh.— Will Perry-Parks (@willperryparks) July 14, 2019
Crowd booing Djokovic is a shame he’s played magnificently and seems a decent guy #wimbeldon— James Liffen (@JLiff) July 14, 2019
This Wimbledon crowd extremely disrespectful towards Djokovic— #SendLocation (@Cody_b__) July 14, 2019
disgusting behaviour #Wimbledon
Disgusting for the crowd to boo at Djokovic - he’s perfectly entitled to query a wrong line call. #Wimbledon— Neil Armstrong 🚀 (@GH05TED) July 14, 2019
Booing Djokovic for double faulting and questioning the umpire’s decision which is fully within his right to do so is unacceptable. As a fan of both Djokovic and Federer I am appalled at some of the crowd’s behaviour during this #Wimbledon2019 Men’s final.— Muirgheal ottewell (@Muirghealottew4) July 14, 2019
I wish this crowd would show some respect to Djokovic #WimbledonFinal— Melanie Mitchell (@melpam) July 14, 2019
Djokovic takes high ground
Djokovic admitted his epic, record-breaking Wimbledon final triumph was the "toughest mentally" he had ever endured.
He also revealed he was able to turn the overwhelmingly pro-Federer, 14,000-strong Centre Court crowd in his favour by training his mind.
"When the crowd is chanting 'Roger' I hear 'Novak'," said the Serb.
Djokovic is the first man in 71 years to win the title from match points down.
"It was probably the most demanding, mentally, match I was ever part of," said the 32-year-old Djokovic.
"I had the most physically demanding match against Nadal in the final of Australia that went almost six hours (in 2012).
"But mentally this was a different level, because of everything.
"I'm thrilled and overjoyed with emotions to be sitting here in front of you as a winner but I was one shot away from losing the match. It could have gone easily his way."
‘THREW IT AWAY’: Tennis world in shock over Roger Federer 'shock'
‘PURE ARROGANCE’: Novak Djokovic causes stir with bizarre celebration
Djokovic saved the match points in the 16th game of the deciding set, which ran for over two hours and was settled by a 12-12 tiebreak for the first time in a singles match at the tournament.
It was a display of stunning mental fortitude by Djokovic.
However, he has been in similar predicaments in the past against Federer -- saving two match points in both of his semi-final victories over the Swiss at the 2010 and 2011 US Opens.
"I just try to never lose self-belief, just stay calm, just focus on trying to get the ball back, return, which wasn't serving me very well today.
"But in the most important moments, all three tiebreaks I guess, if I can say so, I found my best game."