Novak Djokovic - US Open 2023

Novak Djokovic tells Great Britain fans to ‘shut up’ after victory

Novak Djokovic has claimed that Great Britain supporters went ‘over the line’ in Malaga last night, after the world No.1 confirmed Serbia’s place in the semi-finals with a straight sets victory over Cameron Norrie.

Djokovic followed the opening rubber, which was won by his compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic, knowing that a victory over British No.1 Norrie would send his nation into the final four.

And the 24-time major winner did just that, beating the world No.18, 6-4 6-4, to set up a semi-final tie with Italy on Saturday.

However, the match was not without its controversies, with Djokovic blowing a kiss to the noisy British fans after winning the first set.

This back-and-forth continued throughout the match and boiled over during Djokovic’s post-match interview, when Great Britain supporters appeared to be playing a trumpet and drums while he was speaking, something that the Serb clearly did not appreciate.

“Learn how to respect players, how to behave yourselves, learn how to respect people, you shut up, you be quiet,” exclaimed Djokovic, who was pointing at those in the crowd making the noise.

Great Britain captain Leon Smith responded in press, suggesting that these atmospheres are what makes the Davis Cup and that he ‘didn’t think it was that bad’.

“One of the things that’s good about Davis Cup and team competition is that actually you’re kind of meant to make noise,” said Smith.

He continued, “There is a bit that goes over [the top], comments, I could hear a couple. I would hate to see it quietening down, because there’s enough quiet tennis as it is. I think he was just a bit p***** about a bit of the noise coming from behind. Like I say, I don’t think it was that bad.”

While Djokovic still believes that those supporters went over the top, he did have a more balanced view of the situation later on, “In the Davis Cup, it’s normal that sometimes fans step over the line, but in the heat of the moment you react too. They can do whatever they want, but I’m going to respond to that.

“At the end I was trying to talk and they were purposely starting to play the drums and they were trying to annoy me the entire match. So we had a little bit of a chat in the end.”

Djokovic and the rest of the Serbian team will have a days rest, before taking on Italy for a place in the Davis Cup Final on Saturday.

This is where Djokovic is likely to play Jannik Sinner, who beat him in Turin last week before he got revenge in the final of the ATP Finals.

Inside the baseline…

With the Davis Cup, players have to accept that the atmosphere is more tribal and not like the usual ATP Tour. That being said, playing noisy instruments over someone speaking is probably taking it too far and Djokovic was within his rights to be frustrated. Turning back to the tennis, Serbia look a huge threat to win their second Davis Cup title, however Sinner is by far Djokovic’s biggest obstacle in Malaga.

READ MORE – Davis Cup: Top 5 most successful countries in the Open Era

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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.