Following Serbia’s victory against Great Britain in the Davis Cup last eight on Thursday, Novak Djokovic said he addressed British supporters due to their “disrespect.”
The world number one ordered a group of British supporters to “learn how to behave” after leading Serbia to a 2-0 victory by defeating Cameron Norrie 6-4, 6-4 in the second singles game.
When some supporters attempted to muffle Djokovic’s victory speech with drums, the superstar became agitated and felt compelled to reply.
“There was disrespect throughout the entire match, but that’s something I have to be ready for in the Davis Cup,” 36-year-old Djokovic said to reporters.
It’s common for fans to cross boundaries, and in the heat of the moment, you respond too, implying that you don’t tolerate this type of behavior.
“I’m going to respond to that, but they can do whatever they want.”
After winning a game in the second set, Djokovic—the match’s record 24-time Grand Slam winner—cupped his palm to his ear out of annoyance at the same supporters who were making a fuss.
But after his convincing triumph, when they would not let him speak without being interrupted, his rage erupted.
He said, “They started playing the drums on purpose to stop me from talking while I was trying to talk.”
“We had a brief conversation at the end because they were trying to annoy me the entire match.”
With his triumph, Djokovic will square off against Jannik Sinner of Italy, whom he defeated on Sunday at the ATP Finals to win his eighth trophy of the year.
Sinner defeated Djokovic in the competition’s group round, and the two will square off again on Saturday when Italy plays Serbia in the Davis Cup semifinals.
“It’s going to be amazing for tennis fans and for both Italian sports tennis lovers and Serbia, and here also in Malaga,” Djokovic said. It was the third time in a little more than a week.
“We’ve been growing into a kind of nice rivalry lately.”
Djokovic said that he continued to be pleased with the world number four after seeing parts of Sinner’s singles and doubles triumphs for Italy during their 2-1 victory against the Netherlands earlier on Thursday.
“As I said before, he’s playing some of the greatest tennis we’ve ever seen him play with a lot of confidence. I’m not doing too poorly myself. Thus, I believe that this will be a fantastic combination.