Novak Djokovic responds to haters: 'You guys can not touch me'

Novak Djokovic experienced a battle with hecklers at Wimbledon

by Jovica Ilic
Novak Djokovic responds to haters: 'You guys can not touch me'
© Julian Finney / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Novak Djokovic will compete in his 15th Wimbledon quarter-final and the 60th at Majors. Novak met his good friend Holger Rune in the fourth round at the All England Club and delivered a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 victory in two hours and three minutes on Centre Court, remaining on the title course.

As often before, Djokovic had a love-hate relationship with a part of the crowd, explaining the issue in his on-court interview. Rune's spectators cheered for their player, and it often sounded like booo, which Djokovic took personally, considering it was connected to him.

Novak thanked the true and respectful tennis fans who paid for the ticket and supported the players. On the other hand, he sent a clear message to hecklers, saying he has played in much more hostile environments over the years and declaring they could not get him.

Djokovic had stomach issues that did not affect his game too much.

Novak Djokovic, Wimbledon 2024© Julian Finney / Staff - Getty Images Sport

The veteran took charge on serve and return, winning 22 points more and defeating Rune for the fourth time in six encounters.

Novak produced superb numbers behind the second serve, playing against two break points and defending them to mount the pressure on the young Dane. Holger could not deal with it after serving at 54%, losing 40% of the points in his games and getting broken four times from 14 chances offered to the seven-time champion.

Djokovic finished the duel with 21 winners and 22 unforced errors, welcoming Rune's 29 unforced mistakes and moving over the top in just over two hours. Novak outplayed Holger in the shortest and more advanced exchanges, hitting more service winners and standing strong in the baseline rallies.

The Serb was off to a perfect start, outplaying the Dane and building a massive advantage in no time.

Novak Djokovic, Wimbledon 2024© Mike Hewitt / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Novak Djokovic did not the crowd's behavior in the match against Holger Rune.

The veteran closed the opening game of the encounter at love with a service winner and created three break chances in the next one after the youngster's double fault.

Novak converted the first after Holger's backhand error, moving in front and cementing the advantage with a forced mistake in game three, holding at love and opening a 3-0 gap. Rune ended his downfall with a forehand winner in the fourth game before Djokovic closed the next one with a forehand winner that sent him 4-1 up.

The Dane netted a routine forehand in the sixth game and faced a break point, denying it with a fine attack and remaining within one break deficit. Novak grabbed the seventh game at 15 and served for the opener at 5-3. The seven-time champion fired an ace down the T line, wrapping up the first part of the duel 6-3 in 29 minutes.

Rune followed Djokovic's pace in the first half of the second set.

Novak Djokovic, Wimbledon 2024© Julian Finney / Staff - Getty Images Sport

The young gun landed a service winner for a 3-2 lead before the veteran locked them at 3-3 after another fine hold.

Novak climbed back from 15-40 in the seventh game and generated a break chance after Holger's backhand error. Rune saved it with a forehand winner but netted a backhand to experience the second. The Dane placed a backhand wide, losing serve and sending the Serb 4-3 in front.

Novak drew Holger's error in the eighth game, cementing the break and forcing his rival to serve to stay in the set. The ninth game turned into a marathon, with Rune playing against six set points! He erased them and landed two winners for a hold, prolonging the battle and earning a boost.

Novak served for the set at 5-4 and netted a backhand, offering his opponent the first break chance. Djokovic saved it with a forehand winner and brought the set home after Rune's loose forehand, moving two sets to love in front after an hour and 22 minutes.

Novak Djokovic & Holger Rune, Wimbledon 2024© Julian Finney / Staff - Getty Imges Sport

The veteran broke at 15 in the first game of the third set and produced two comfortable holds for 3-1, sailing toward the finish line.

Holger closed the fifth game at love and caused Novak's mistake in the next one for the second break point of the match. Djokovic denied it with a fine serve & volley combo and forced Rune's mistake for a vital hold and a 4-2 advantage.

Novak drew Holger's error in the seventh game and generated two break chances. The Dane hit a double fault on the second, experiencing another break and sealing his fate in this match. Djokovic served for the triumph at 5-2 and moved over the top with a hold at love after a beautiful volley winner, setting the quarter-final clash versus Alex de Minaur.

"To all the fans that have respect and stayed here tonight, thank you very much from the bottom of my heart. And to all those who have chosen to disrespect the players, in this case, me, have a gooooooooood night. It's fine, it's OK.

I focus on the respectful people who paid the ticket and watched us tonight. They love tennis and appreciate the effort the players put in. I have played in much more hostile environments, trust me. You guys can not touch me," Novak Djokovic said.

Novak Djokovic Wimbledon