Novak Djokovic tells British fans to ‘shut up’ and show ‘respect’ in Davis Cup outburst

The World No 1 clashed with 5,000 British supporters during the Davis Cup tie in Malaga

Jamie Braidwood
Friday 24 November 2023 07:35
Djokovic reflects on heated altercation with British fans after Davis Cup win

Novak Djokovic told British fans to “shut up” and show “respect” after leading Serbia to victory in the Davis Cup quarter-finals in Malaga on Thursday night.

The Great Britain team were supported by a rowdy, 5,000-strong section during the tie and the World No 1 reacted to taking the opening set against Cameron Norrie by cupping his ear and blowing kisses to the British fans in the crowd.

Djokovic, who was aggrieved at fans making noise between his first and second serves, then appeared to snap after sealing the 6-4 6-4 victory over Norrie when the same supporters began drumming during the 36-year-old’s on-court interview.

Djokovic turned to the fans and said: "Learn how to respect players, learn how to behave yourself," before adding, "no, you shut up, you be quiet".

The 24-time grand slam champion said the atmosphere was “normal” for a Davis Cup tie, but said that some supporters crossed a line by annoying him during the match.

“In the heat of the moment, you react too, and you show that you don’t allow this kind of behaviour,” Djokovic said afterwards.

"They can do whatever they want, but I’m going to respond to that. I was trying to talk and they were purposely starting to play the drums so that I don’t talk and they were trying to annoy me the entire match. So we had a little bit of a chat in the end."

Djokovic celebrates leading Serbia to victory in the quarter-finals

The Great Britain captain, Leon Smith, did not criticise the team’s fans and said the atmosphere they created was “one of the good things about the Davis Cup”. Serbia were also backed by a sizable continent at the sold-out stadium in Malaga.

"Whether there is a bit that goes over, comments, I could hear a couple - I don’t think it’s that bad,” Smith said. “I would hate to see it quietening down, because there’s enough quiet tennis as it is."

On the court, Britain were knocked out of the team competition after Djokovic’s victory over Norrie added to Jack Draper’s defeat to Miomir Kecmanovic in the opening rubber.

Serbia, meanwhile, advanced to face Italy in the semi-finals, as Djokovic attempts to lead the country to their first Davis Cup title since 2010.

Djokovic has won every tournament he has entered since his defeat to Carlos Alcaraz in the Wimbledon final four months ago.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in