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French Open: Fans boo latecomers for delaying Novak Djokovic’s quarterfinal in Paris

French Open: Fans booed the latecomers for delaying Novak Djokovic’s quarterfinal in the Court Philippe-Chatrier. The incident happened when top-seeded Djokovic was preparing to serve while trying to make his mark on the opening set.

French Open: Excitement over return of fans hits a bump after Novak Djokovic made to wait due to latecomers. (Reuters Photo)

French Open: Excitement over return of fans hits a bump after Novak Djokovic made to wait due to latecomers. (Reuters Photo)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Fans boo latecomers for delaying Novak Djokovic’s quarterfinal in Paris
  • Djokovic was made to wait as his quarter-final match was halted
  • The latecomers were welcomed by the chorus of boos from the other spectators

Novak Djokovic’s French Open quarter-final clash with Matteo Berrettini involved a comical yet bizarre incident involving the fans who were returning to the Paris court after the ease of pandemic.

Pandemic-related restrictions were loosened to allow 5,000 inside on Court Philippe-Chatrier rather than the 1,000 for the previous matches, and it was quite an atmosphere until the rule was imposed.

Notably, Djokovic was made to wait as his quarter-final match was halted due to a group of fans who arrived very late in the Court Philippe-Chatrier. The latecomers were welcomed by the chorus of boos from the other spectators who were already present in the court.

The incident happened when top-seeded Djokovic was preparing to serve while trying to make his mark on the opening set.

“Where have they been?” wondered Eurosport’s Chris Bradnam, on commentary at the time.

“How can they be late? It’s the first time crowds have been allowed in for the late match! They’ve been shopping!

“The conditions were strange with the fans here and then the atmosphere was a bit different (afterward),” Djokovic said after winning 6-3, 6-2, 6-7 (5), 7-5 to reach his 40th Grand Slam semifinal. “You have to find a different motivation because the energy from the fans is special.”

The 34-year-old bellowed a series of frightening roars after completing a victory that at one stage looked like a formality but became increasingly fraught as Berrettini threw the kitchen sink at the Serb who becomes only the second man to reach 40 Grand Slam semi-finals after Roger Federer.

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