Novak Djokovic - Roland Garros 2023

Novak Djokovic claims he finds the French crowd ‘disrespectful’

Novak Djokovic has reached the fourth round of Roland Garros for the 14th year in a row, and claimed that some members of the crowd on Court Philippe Chatrier were ‘disrespectful’ in his win over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

Djokovic beat the Spaniard, 7-6(4) 7-6(5) 6-2, and was particularly riled up when winning the second set tie-break after saving a set point.

In his post-match press conference, Djokovic commented on the Parisian crowd, “I think the majority of the people come to enjoy tennis or support one or the other player. But there are people that love to boo every single thing you do.”

He continued, “That’s something that I find disrespectful and I frankly don’t understand that. But it’s their right. They paid the ticket. They can do whatever they want. Actually 99% of the time I will stay quiet. Sometimes I will oppose that, because I feel when somebody is disrespectful, he or she deserves to have an answer to that.”

Djokovic was also booed when taking a medical timeout after that second set, and the Serb commented on his injury status at the moment.

“Look, we don’t have much time to start to name the many injuries I have, and the list is quite long,” revealed the 22-time Grand Slam champion. “So, I mean, you know, I don’t want to sit here and talk about these things that are not preventing me from playing. I still kept on playing.”

“These are the circumstances that you, as a professional athlete, have to deal with. Accept it. You know, I have to adjust to this new reality, so to say.”

The Serb added, “But at the end of the day, I managed to finish the match, as I said. And, you know, on the court you try to do your best, everything possible, so you can finish the match and win. That’s what happened in the end.”

Djokovic now moves onto play Peruvian Juan Pablo Varillas, who has played three consecutive five set matches in Paris, in a first time meeting in the fourth round on Sunday.

Novak Djokovic at Roland Garros

While Roland Garros is Djokovic’s weakest major in terms of titles, he is the only person to beat 14-time champion Rafael Nadal more than once at the event.

Here are all of Djokovic’s 18 previous years at the Paris major:

2005 – Lost in the second round to Guillermo Coria (8), 6-4 2-6 2-3 (retired)

2006 – Lost in the quarter-final to Rafael Nadal (2), 4-6 4-6 (retired)

2007 – Lost in the semi-final to Rafael Nadal (2), 5-7 4-6 2-6

2008 – Lost in the semi-final to Rafael Nadal (2), 4-6 2-6 6(3)-7

2009 – Lost in the third round to Philipp Kohlschreiber (29), 4-6 4-6 4-6

2010 – Lost in the quarter-final to Jurgen Melzer (22), 6-3 6-2 2-6 6(3)-7 4-6

2011 – Lost in the semi-final to Roger Federer (3), 6(5)-7 3-6 6-3 6(5)-7

2012 – Lost in the final to Rafael Nadal (2), 4-6 3-6 6-2 5-7

2013 – Lost in the semi-final to Rafael Nadal (3), 4-6 6-3 1-6 7-6(3) 7-9

2014 – Lost in the final to Rafael Nadal (1), 6-3 5-7 2-6 4-6

2015 – Lost in the final to Stan Wawrinka (8), 6-4 4-6 3-6 4-6

2016 – Beat Andy Murray (2) in the final, 3-6 6-1 6-2 6-4

2017 – Lost in the quarter-final to Dominic Thiem (6), 6(5)-7 3-6 0-6

2018 – Lost in the quarter-final to Marco Cecchinato, 3-6 6(4)-7 6-1 6(11)-7

2019 – Lost in the semi-final to Dominic Thiem (4), 2-6 6-3 5-7 7-5 5-7

2020 – Lost in the final to Rafael Nadal (2), 0-6 2-6 5-7

2021 – Beat Stefanos Tsitsipas (5) in the final, 6(6)-7 2-6 6-3 6-2 6-4

2022 – Lost in the quarter-final to Rafael Nadal (5), 2-6 6-4 2-6 6(4)-7

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.