Djokovic on the fan who distracted him v Fritz: “He was in the box with my friends!”

Novak Djokovic is prepared for a lot of things – but not the location of this shouting

Novak Djokovic Chryslene Caillaud/Panoramic
US Open •Quarter-final • completed
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Novak Djokovic rarely gets too distracted by shouts from the crowd, but he did in his match versus Taylor Fritz when a spectator’s yells drew his attention.

It turned out that it wasn’t just the shouting that pulled Djokovic’s focus – it was where the fan was sitting.

“He was actually in the box where some of my friends were,” said the Serbian afterwards. “I don’t know who the guy was, but yeah, I was pretty annoyed by him at that point. I was communicating with my friends to have a little chat with him.”

Djokovic: I’m glad the crowd wants to get into it

Asked if he shared Daniil Medvedev’s annoyance with shouts between first and second serves, Djokovic was more pragmatic. He replied: “Look, it happens. Sometimes you react, but most of the time you don’t. I speak for myself. Obviously there is whatever percent of the time you don’t react. People speak, they move around. You’ve got to be ready for that, particularly in US Open, especially in the night sessions.

“It just, you know, that’s part of it. It’s part of the sport, and I don’t, you know, mostly I don’t mind it, but, you know, in those important moments when you’re all of a sudden under a lot of stress and you’re facing a breakpoint and then all of a sudden everything annoys you and distracts you, so then you react.

“But that’s, again, heat of the moment, and playing on the highest level. You know, crowd — I’m actually glad the crowd wants to get into it, because it means that the match is interesting, that they want to be part of it. That they’re having fun. At the end of the day, they pay tickets to come and watch you play, so we try to put on a show and perform for them so they go back home, you know, satisfied that they have been here and enjoyed their day.

“So sometimes you might have an interaction with the player, you know, like this guy today, I’m sorry for him, but he was really annoying at that point. And that’s it. You know, it happens.”

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