Novak Djokovic has drunk fans taken away at the Australian Open

Ttournament favourite Novak Djokovic reached the third round at the Australian Open in Melbourne despite some problems on the court and trouble in the stands. The Serb beat French qualifier Enzo Couacaud 6-1, 6-7 (5-7), 6-2, 6-0 at the Rod Laver Arena on Thursday.

His opponent put up a surprising amount of resistance in the meantime, he himself didn’t move very well with a bandage around his injured left thigh – but Djokovic had even more problems with a small part of the fans in the Rod Laver Arena.

“He just wants in my head”

One spectator in particular annoyed the 35-year-old. “The boy is completely drunk, from the first point he wanted to provoke me. He’s not here to watch tennis. He just wants to get into my head,” the 21-time Grand Slam tournament winner complained to the referee in the fourth set when the score was 2-0.

Djokovic demanded that folders should take care of the troublemakers. A little later the small group of men dressed in red and white with bobble hats on their heads were led out of the hall.

Trouble with the muscles

“A lot happened today,” said Djokovic afterwards in the winner’s interview on the pitch, where he heard a declaration of love and then replied: “I love you too!” In the third round, the exceptional talent, unbeaten at the Australian Open since 2018, meets the Bulgarians Grigor Dimitrov, whom he called his “Balkan brother”.

But the muscle problems he has been struggling with for the past two weeks are worrying him. “To be honest: It’s not good at all,” Djokovic replied in the Eurosport interview when asked how his thigh was doing: “I look from day to day. The last match felt better than today. It is up to God to help me.”

At his opening match two days earlier, Djokovic had been warmly welcomed by almost all fans and enthusiastically cheered. “If I had to choose a place and a time, it would be the night session here in the Rod Laver Arena,” Djokovic said afterwards. A year ago, the tennis star was expelled from Australia because of a visa that was declared invalid.

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