Novak Djokovic gets Wimbledon fan kicked out of Centre Court

Head of the UKFPU, Mick Johnson, hailed the "swift action" and said it shows there are "consequences" for those who are intent on causing disorder in the UK or overseas.

Novak Djokovic asked for a fan to be removed from the stands after dropping the third set against Jacob Fearnley at Wimbledon. The Serb survived a late scare to progress to the next round, with Fearnley providing a stern test on his Centre Court debut.

Djokovic made a strong start, claiming the first two sets without too much difficulty, but was pegged back in the third as Fearnley enjoyed a brief resurgence. The Brit was a break down at one stage but fought back to break Djokovic twice and take the match to a fourth set.

As the crowd applauded Fearnley’s efforts, the Brit was seen looking behind him before Djokovic was heard speaking to a member of staff. He appeared to have been riled up by a fan and made it clear that he wanted the supporter removed from his seat.

“It’s him, that guy, get him,” said Djokovic. “That guy there, the grey tracksuit just going down the stairs now.” He then switched his focus to the umpire, asking: “Why is he not out?”

A member of staff was seen walking over to the crowd and scanning for the troublemaker as Djokovic changed his shirt ahead of the next set. Two people were spoken to by security officials, according to i, with one fan briefly leaving the court but later returning to his seat.

Speaking after the match, Fearnley said it was ‘pretty obvious’ there was a vocal fan in the crowd but added he did not hear anything ‘outrageous’.

“I noticed they were probably more towards me in the crowd,” he said. “I think that was pretty obvious. I didn’t notice anything crazy, but obviously I wasn’t really thinking about that. I was more just dealing with the nerves that come with playing on that court.

“I didn’t hear anything that was outrageous, but maybe it was in Serbian or something, I don’t know.”

Djokovic was nearly taken to a decisive fifth set by Fearnley, who was 5-4 up at one stage but lost the next three games. In his post-match interview, Djokovic admitted that he failed to show a ‘champion’s mentality’ and gave credit to Fearnley for making him work hard.

“It was difficult to break his serve,” he said. “He made me work. In all, this match potentially deserved a fifth [set] the way he played, particularly in the fourth, but I’m very glad it didn’t. I don’t know if I had a champion’s mentality today.

“I was not comfortable in my own skin, but sometimes you have rough days where you’re not feeling your best and Jacob made me earn this victory. It was a win, I’ll take it, hopefully I can play better in the next round. Physically I felt well. Can I be playing and moving better? Absolutely.”

Original article published 04.07.2024 on the Express website.

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