Novak Djokovic was heckled again at the Australian Open as the record 24-time Grand Slam champion was told to "get vaccinated mate" just as he was preparing to serve on a match point against Tomas Martin Etcheverry.
Up by two sets and having a 6-2 lead in the third-set tie-break, Djokovic was getting ready to serve when the silence was broken by the "get vaccinated mate" shout. Djokovic responded by stepping away from the service line to re-collect and re-focus.
When Djokovic returned to the service line, he fired an ace to seal a straight-set win over Etcheverry and a round-of-16 ticket. As Djokovic was heading toward the net, he had a very determined face and nodded with his racket in his box´s direction.
A heckler told Novak Djokovic “get vaccinated mate” on match point:— Clown Down Under 🤡 (@clowndownunder) January 20, 2024
The GOAT responds by hitting an ACE 🔥 pic.twitter.com/4Cb0WPxhY7
Djokovic was also heckled during his match against Alexei Popyrin
In the Australian Open second round against Alexei Popyrin, Djokovic had a very tense moment with a heckler early in the fourth set. At one point, Djokovic exploded at a heckler and invited him to come down from the stands and say whatever he had to his face.
The heckler backed down after Djokovic unloaded on him but the incident left the Serb very fueled as the world No. 1 won 10 of the next 12 points en route to completing a 6-3 4-6 7-6 (4) 6-3 win over Popyrin. After the match, Djokovic said it was better for him not to repeat what the heckler told him but claimed it was something that "stepped over the line."
"It does. I´m not going to sit and say it´s all good. It´s not good. Of course, it upsets me. I´m frustrated. I don´t want to be experiencing that, but I have to accept it as it is," Djokovic said in Melbourne when asked it if upsets him when "idiots in the crowd go too far." "
Sometimes I don´t tolerate when somebody crosses the line. That´s it. That´s what happened. People have a few drinks... I guess late at night as well, that probably also has an effect on how they feel and behave."
In his next Australian Open match, Djokovic plays Adrian Mannarino for a place in the quarterfinal at Melbourne Park.