'NOVAK DJOKOVIC WAS RIGHT!': BBC PRESENTER SARA THORNTON SAYS 'JERKS' IN WIMBLEDON CROWD 'BOOED HIM USING HOLGER RUNE CHANTS AS A DISGUISE' - EVEN THOUGH FANS INSIST THEY DIDN'T DISRESPECT THE SEVEN-TIME CHAMPION

  • Novak Djokovic was furious after his straight-sets win over Holger Rune 
  • He felt Centre Court crowd booed him - and a BBC broadcaster agreed with him
  • READ MORE: Nick Kyrgios defends Novak Djokovic after Wimbledon outburst 

A BBC presenter has come out in support of Novak Djokovic's claims he was booed by Wimbledon's Centre Court crowd on Monday night, claiming 'absolute jerks' used chants for Holger Rune as a 'disguise' to target the Serb. 

Seven-time Wimbledon champion Djokovic was irked by what he perceived as disrespect in his 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 victory over Rune.

Broadcaster Sara Thornton was on Centre Court and despite others claiming the chants were of 'Runeeeee' and not boos, Thornton begged to differ.

'As I sat on Centre Court I thought there were some absolute jerks in the crowd booing Novak #Djokovic using the disguise of the name Rune… and sadly it became infectious,' she posted on X, formerly Twitter

'But as a tennis fan, I'd say that was far outweighed by those delighting in the skillful play on both sides.'

One fan who was on Centre Court on Monday night described a scene in the fifth set to Mail Sport whereby a Djokovic fan turned around and shouted 'show some respect for the champion' to the whole stand.

Djokovic safely progressed to the quarter-finals but after promising 'fireworks' he delivered them in the form of his post-match on-court interview. 

'To all the fans that have had respect and stayed here tonight, I thank you from the bottom of my heart and I appreciate it,' he began. 

'And to all those people that have chosen to disrespect the player - in this case me - have a goooooooood night.'

His rather non-plussed BBC interviewer Rishi Persad said: 'I am hoping they were just commenting on Rune, and they were not disrespecting you.'

Djokovic - who has a track record of taking on crowds - was having none of that. 'They were. They were [disrespecting me],' he insisted. 'I am not accepting it. No no no. I know they were cheering for Rune but that's an excuse to also boo.

'Listen, I have been on the tour for more than 20 years. I know all the tricks. I focus on the respectful people that pay for the ticket, and love tennis and appreciate the players. I played in much more hostile environments, trust me – you guys can't touch me.' 

The outburst divided tennis fans with a split emerging on whether they were in fact simply cheering for Rune - something his Danish opponent believes. 

His practice partner at Wimbledon this week, Nick Kyrgios - who is also known for his on-court meltdowns, also felt Djokovic was not being booed.

The Aussie told BBC Sport afterwards: 'It wasn't [booing] but I think crowds all around the world need to understand that Novak doesn't need more of a motive to play better. 

'He's driven, one of the best players in the world and I've seen it time and time again, the crowd try to poke the bear and that's not what you want to do against Novak.

'He loves it. I try not to poke the bear when I play him…and I really struggle with that. Obviously it cost me my Wimbledon final.

'He doesn't need more of a motive to go out there and prove to someone he is the greatest of all time.'

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2024-07-09T09:07:17Z dg43tfdfdgfd