Djokovic burned by Kyrgios after threatening crowd
NOVAK Djokovic has fired up during his third-round straight sets win over American Denis Kudla, swearing at the vocal crowd.
Djokovic strolled into the US Open fourth round with a 6-3 6-4 6-2 victory over the world No.111 but was fired up throughout the match.
It was early in the match when Djokovic - up 3-1 in the first - had a brilliant rally with his unseeded counterpart, which ended when Kudla pushed a ball too far on the baseline.
But the penultimate shot was accompanied by some yells from the crowd, which set Djokovic off.
"Shut the f*** up," Djokovic yelled at the crowd.
Security began to try to quieten the crowd, while the umpire warned spectators to keep it down during the points.
The commentators said Djokovic was "on edge".
I'd be pissed. But the best part about Djokovic is that he's so good, he can laugh through it and still dominate a third round opponent. No break in concentration needed to win. https://t.co/lUAC92POyq— Chris Hagan (@ChrisHaganTV) August 31, 2019
Djokovic beats Kudla 6-3 6-4 6-2. Played pretty well, particularly on key point. More fired up and nervous (he went at it with the crowd a couple of times) than usual for these kind of matches, BH doesn’t look 100%, but we’ll hear from him. #USOpen— Saša Ozmo (@ozmo_sasa) August 31, 2019
Djokovic being a good sport about the bros in the front row pic.twitter.com/IMmFGuOkc4— Kelyn Soong (@KelynSoong) August 31, 2019
It may have had something to do with the shoulder injury that has been plaguing the world No.1.
Before the match, Djokovic didn't want to talk about the injury, but post-match he said it was a relief to get through the match.
"I managed to play almost pain-free," he said. "It's a big improvement from last match, I didn't know how the body would react and I'm just glad to finish the match tonight."
The Serbian star cancelled two practice sessions earlier on Friday before a light session where he tested the shoulder out.
Djokovic was caught on camera firing up at someone watching the practice session, with a video circulating where he appeared to be threatening the spectator.
Djokovic when face-to-face with the fan after a false start on a serve.
After the inaudible discussion, Djokovic walked away and pointed at the fan, who was reportedly heckling the Serb.
He said: "I'll come find you after the match. Trust me, I'll come find you."
In his press conference, Djokovic said the clash actually helped him, brushing the threat off.
"To have a drink," he said. "Liked the guy. I'm going to buy him a drink."
Asked what the spectator said, Djokovic was again coy.
"We'll keep that between us. But he definitely helped me. He doesn't even know, but he did help me.
"As I said, I'm not going to talk about it. I think he did me a favour. Even maybe he didn't want to do me a favour, he did me a favour, big favour."
As for swearing at the crowd, he said "a could of guys had a couple of drinks more than I guess they were supposed to. But it was all good after."
Aussie tennis star Nick Kyrgios then took to Twitter to respond to the video.
I’m scared 🤣— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) August 31, 2019
Kyrgios has been in a longstanding feud with Djokovic and last month fired it up again.
Kyrgios was competing at the Atlanta Open in the doubles draw and following a first-round loss was signing autographs for awaiting fans.
One fan in particular caught Kyrgios' attention. A white shirt with 'NOVAK' emblazed across it drew the Aussie in.
He was filmed scrubbing out the shirt with a black marker before putting a giant cross through the logo and saying: "This is what I think of you and your shirt, gone."
Nick Kyrgios taking another shot at Novak Djokovic 👀 pic.twitter.com/OuhQpMOium— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) July 25, 2019
It comes after Kyrgios dialled up the feud on New York Times tennis expert's Ben Rothenberg's podcast before Wimbledon.
"I just feel like he has a sick obsession with wanting to be liked," Kyrgios told the No Challenges Remaining podcast.
"He just wants to be like Roger. For me personally - I don't care right now, I've come this far - I feel like he just wants to be liked so much that I just can't stand him.
"This whole celebration thing (the 'boob-throwing' celebration) that he does after matches, it's like so cringe-worthy. It's very cringe-worthy.
"He's an unbelievable player, he's a champion of the sport; one of the greatest we'll ever see. He probably will, honestly, I reckon he will get the Grand Slam count, I reckon he will overpass Federer.
"We're talking about a guy who pulled out of the Australian Open one year because it was too hot. No matter how many Grand Slams he wins, he will never be the greatest for me.
"Simply because, I've played him twice and like, I'm sorry, but if you can't beat me, you're not the greatest of all time. Because if you like look at my day-to-day routine and how much I train and how much I put in, it's zero compared to him."
Djokovic struggled with a left shoulder injury in Wednesday's second-round win, but the top seed looked far more at ease against Kudla as he advanced to a showdown with 2016 champion Stan Wawrinka.
Djokovic is attempting to become the first back-to-back men's champion here since Roger Federer won five titles in a row from 2004 to 2008.
He will meet Wawrinka, the man who beat him in the US Open final three years ago, for a place in the last eight.
"We've had some great battles over the years, all over the world and especially here," Djokovic said of his upcoming clash with the Swiss three-time Grand Slam champion.
- with AFP