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“When it happens, it’s an absolute shock” – Taylor Fritz miffed at spectator who shouted during critical moment vs Djokovic

Taylor Fritz was thrown off when an unruly spectator shouted out during a critical moment of his match with Novak Djokovic. The American called the behavior “disgusting” in his post-match press conference.

Taylor Fritz ATP Finals 2022 Turin Taylor Fritz ATP Finals 2022 Turin || Imago / Panoramic
Nitto ATP Finals •Semi-final • completed
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It’s difficult enough to try to defeat Novak Djokovic on one of the sports’ biggest stages. When an unruly spectator shouts out, just as you are trying to hit a backhand at 5-all, 30-all, it’s even tougher. That is the harsh reality that Taylor Fritz had to contemplate on Saturday in Turin, after falling to the five-time Nitto ATP Finals champion 7-6(5), 7-6(6) on Saturday in Turin.

Fritz, who reached the semi-finals on his Nitto ATP Finals debut, knows that not much can be done about the situation. Asking for the point to be replayed is out or the question. One simply has to grin and bear it, but it doesn’t make it any easier, especially when the point in question leads to a critical break of serve.

“It one of those things,” a disappointed Fritz told reporters after his loss. “It’s like what can you do? If you make a rule that you can replay a point, then the guy is just going to yell when I’m about to win a point, then we’re going to have to replay. It’s just going to happen the reverse way.”

I don’t know what to say. I think that’s what makes it even more frustrating. I kind of got screwed and there’s nothing that really can be done about it.

Taylor Fritz

Fritz knows it is useless to dwell on the situation, but that didn’t keep him from feeling shattered about how it all went down.

“I can’t expect anybody to be like, ‘Replay the point.’ In that situation, I can’t say that I would do that either. I can’t expect anyone to do anything differently.”

“I kind of got screwed”

Fritz, prompted by reporters, went on to say that it’s just bad etiquette, shouting out during points, no matter who you are rooting for.

“I don’t know what to say,” he said. “I think that’s what makes it even more frustrating. I kind of got screwed and there’s nothing that really can be done about it.”

Tennis is a gentlemen’s game, played with a deep, profound respect for the codes of sportsmanship. Generally, fans play along and make it all-inclusive. When they don’t, it can sting.

Fritz says that players get used to playing in quiet, and when and unruly fan disrupts the silence, seemingly with an ulterior motive, it can some as a shock.

“You get used to playing in absolute silence your whole career. It’s normal that the crowd maybe makes a noise when there’s a crazy point going on. You expect it, you’re ready for it. But someone just, like, flat-out screaming to purposely try to throw you off, it’s not something you’re ever used to. When it happens, it’s an absolute shock.

“It’s disgusting then.”

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