Novak Djokovic was left raging after a “drunk out of his mind” fan provoked him throughout his second-round match on the Australian Open.
The Serbian led Enzo Couacaud by two units to 1 and 2-0 within the fourth set when he lastly snapped after being heckled by 4 followers in ‘Where’s Wally?’ fancy costume.
Djokovic, who would finally win 6-1, 6-7, 6-2, 6-0, remonstrated with the umpire at deuce within the epic recreation, demanding the fan to be faraway from Rod Laver Arena.
“The guy is drunk out of his mind,” Djokovic instructed chair umpire Fergus Murphy when mentioning the fan, who would finally be tossed out following the sport, which lasted 12 minutes and 14 seconds.
“From the first point he’s been provoking me. He’s not here to watch tennis, he just wants to get in my head, you heard him at least 10 times, I heard him 50.
“What are you going to do about it? Get him out of the stadium.”
Djokovic mirrored on the expertise, including: “It was interesting circumstances to deal with but that’s a grand slam – the atmosphere was electric but in a bit of a negative way.”
The rigidity got here after a testing match, with the 35-year-old struggling to take care of the Frenchman’s recreation and his troubling hamstring harm.
And Djokovic’s knock, which has induced havoc to his build-up to the grand slam, flared up within the second set.
The nine-time champion at Melbourne Park set free a cry of ache after the ninth recreation of the second set, clutching his left hamstring.
Djokovic, forward by a set however down within the second set at 5-4, instantly known as for the coach to look at his harm. After a quick dialog, Djokovic returned to the lockerroom for therapy.
Following the three-minute medical timeout, which lasted nearly 10 minutes, Djokovic returned to the courtroom with plaster beneath the tape round the issue space.
He would maintain serve to remain within the set however continued to tug up on the finish of factors. But the gritty Djokovic moved clear within the match regardless of dropping a second-set tie-breaker, profitable the third set 6-2 with some sensational tennis. And Djokovic held his nerve to advance to the third spherical in 4 units, with a match towards Grigor Dimitrov subsequent.
“It’s expected when you walk on the court as a favourite,” Djokovic stated of the match. “Somebody playing his first time on Rod Laver Arena, you have to adapt and accept it.
“It had a little bit of everything tonight. I’m glad to get through this kind of match in four sets. I wanted to get through in three but credit to him, he played really well in that second set.”
Focus will now flip to the issue hamstring, with Djokovic offering an replace on his situation.
“It’s not good at all, to be honest with you,” he stated. “I’ll take it day by day. It was better in the last match than tonight, to be honest.
“That’s all I can say now. I just need God to help me now, and the physio and everyone. I’ll take it day by day and hopefully, I’ll be able to recover for a tough match-up (against Grigor Dimitrov) in the next round.”