Novak Djokovic is not a man to mince words, and the world No. 1 was in no mood for British fans, whom he accused of showing disrespect during Serbia’s Davis Cup quarter-final victory against Great Britain in Malaga on Thursday. Djokovic, who led his nation into the semi-finals of the team competition by beating Cameron Norrie 6-4, 6-4 in the second singles, was unhappy with supporters who tried to drown out his post-match interview and later blasted them for drumming loudly during his on-court celebrations. The 24-year-old, who was also seen cupping his ear and blowing sarcastic kisses to the rowdy supporters, said they should learn how to respect players.
Without injured stars Andy Murray and Dan Evans, Britain was beaten 2-0 in the quarter-final tie, Djokovic’s fifth straight win for Serbia. The four-time Grand Slam winner outclassed Norrie in the first match, and Miomir Kecmanovic and Jack Draper both won their singles to secure victory. The world No 1, who has won the past four ATP Tour titles, has not lost a Davis Cup match since 2011 and has never failed to win a tie.
The match was played in front of a sold-out crowd of 11,500, with the majority being British fans who clapped and cheered throughout the match. The fans in the Team GB section reacted to Djokovic’s ace in the sixth game of the match, and in the seventh, he won a point with an ace that gave him a 4-2 lead.
Djokovic then served out the first set with a lob over Norrie’s head to win it in under an hour. He dominated the second set, breaking Norrie’s serve twice and forcing him to make four errors. The Briton, who was beaten in the last 16 at Wimbledon this year, did not break back, and Djokovic sealed the tie with another ace as he served for the match.
However, it was in his post-match press conference that Djokovic unleashed on the British supporters. The 24-year-old said some fans had ‘tried to annoy him during his straight sets win over Norrie’ and snapped at them when they drummed loudly during his on-court interview, telling them to shut up. Djokovic, who has never failed to win a Davis Cup tie in his career, said it was “normal that sometimes fans step over the line and in the heat of the moment you react too, in a way to show that you don’t allow this kind of behavior.” He added, “I understand they’re excited and passionate, but I’m sure they can find other ways to express themselves on the court besides just drumming.” The defending champion has won 21 of his 24 matches in this season’s Davis Cup. He is bidding to become the first player in history to win a hat-trick of titles and could reach a fourth final at the event in Paris next month.