Djokovic Gives Verdict On Controversial Fan Behavior At French Open

Djokovic Gives Verdict On Controversial Fan Behavior At French Open

by Zachary Wimer

The Parisian crowd is known to get rowdy, but this year, they've been particularly going at it, and Novak Djokovic addressed the whole matter recently.

We've seen a few instances of the Parisian crowd getting rowdy over the years, so it's nothing new to fans or players. Yet, there seems to be some specific buzz this year as the crowd got out of line a couple of times.

There was an incident with the crowd in the match between David Goffin and Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard, who is a native French player, when his opponent was spat a chewing gum at.

As a result, the event banned alcohol from the stands after the incident. Another incident happened in the match between Iga Swiatek and Naomi Osaka as the crowd bothered the world no. 1 several times.

She even spoke out against it as well, addressing the crowd after the match. The crowd is doing their thing, and Djokovic, who was asked about it, chimed in on the matter. He's gotten to know them pretty well over the years.

"Look, they are very passionate fans. At times they are not easy, and I have been having some love affairs with the fans here, and also some tough matches, some tough seasons."

"I have experienced both sides. Obviously you always want to be the one that they support or at least have kind of a neutral atmosphere on the court, but it's not possible always for that to happen."

Djokovic was familiar with what happened in David Goffin's match, but he was not surprised as it's well-known that players have to face hostile treatment anytime they are facing a French player. He just explained as part of what tennis players do.

"It's part of what we do. It's part of sports. We are different from football or basketball, but at the same time, you know, you kind of want a good atmosphere, right, as a player. Like, from my standpoint, I really want to see fans cheering and I want to see that atmosphere."

In the end, he also took the side of the player because there is a fine line that shouldn't be crossed. Unfortunately, it does happen at times.

"It’s a fine line when that line is passed, I guess, and when it starts becoming disrespectful towards the player. In those instances, I understand that a player like Goffin the other day reacted, because I have experienced quite a few times those particular situations."

"So I support a player standing up against people who are disrespecting and heckling him. It's not always possible to tolerate. Of course it's very much needed, because you don't want to be spending unnecessary energy elsewhere. But at times you just have to face somebody that is heckling you. That's all you can do."


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