John McEnroe called out the French Open crowd's "absurd" treatment of Novak Djokovic during the Serb's third-round match against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. After Djokovic won a tight second set to go up by two sets, he requested a medical timeout while the Spaniard left the court for a bathroom break.
As Djokovic was receiving the medical timeout on the court, the French Open crowd started loudly booing the 22-time Grand Slam champion. "Why do they boo? Everyone does it [take a medical time-out]. It’s totally legal, you’re allowed to work and rub his legs!
Where’s Davidoch Fokina? He’s off to the bathroom. I totally get his reaction. Are you kidding me? Are you going to boo for this? The other guy’s not even on the court! Change the rules if you don’t want to let a guy get worked on, but don’t start doing that.
It’s absurd! Let’s be real. That’s what he’s been battling his whole career; inspiring and pushing him. It ends up that it actually helped him, in a weird way. So as an athlete, if you had a choice between love or respect, you’d love to have both.
You’d rather have respect," McEnroe asked on commentary for Eurosport.
McEnroe calls out the French Open crowd over their Djokovic treatment
After sealing a 7-6 (4) 7-6 (5) 6-2 win over Davidovich Fokina, Djokovic was asked about the boos he received.
Djokovic, who was also booed during his French Open first-round win over Aleksandar Kovacevic, said some people seemingly just love to "boo every single thing you do." "There are people — there are groups or whatever — that love to boo every single thing you do.
That’s something that I find disrespectful and I frankly don’t understand that. But it’s their right. They paid the ticket. They can do whatever they want," Djokovic said. Djokovic has stated several times in recent years that this kind of treatment only motivates him more to win whenever he plays.
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