Serbian star Novak Djokovic received a mix of boos and applause as he walked onto the court ahead of his French Open clash with Diego Schwartzman, before setting up a possible quarter-final clash with arch-rival Rafael Nadal after a conclusive victory. in straight sets at Roland. Garros.
TV pundit and former player Alex Corretja criticized sections of supporters who booed the best player in the world before his match with Argentina’s Schwartzman.
“I do not like that! No man. It’s Novak Djokovic. He has shown us, he has given us so much”Corretja said on the Eurosport broadcast.
“So please support them both and let’s enjoy the game! This is more or less what we need.”
Her fellow broadcaster Alize Lim added: “No, I don’t like that either. Come on, he’s number 1 in the world, let’s be respectful..”
Djokovic has been a controversial figure in the tennis world this year. In January, he was deported from Melbourne ahead of the Australian Open after failing to meet the country’s strict vaccination requirements in a scandal that rocked the sport and sparked disputes at the highest level of the Australian and Serbian governments.
But once the match started, it served as a reminder to the partially hostile crowd of Djokovic’s prolific on-court talents.
The world number one proved to be too much for Schwartzman, and he rarely appeared in danger, even as the Argentine opened up a 3-0 lead in the second set.
The two have history on the clay courts of the French Open, after Djokovic rallied from down two sets to beat Schwartzman at the same event in 2017.
When all was said and done, Djokovic outscored his opponent 6-1, 6-3, 6-3.
Djokovic is now on course to face Rafael Nadal in the Roland Garros quarter-finals if the Spaniard can get past Felix Auger Aliassime in his own fourth-round match.
“I have a lot of respect for [Schwartzman]”, Djokovic said afterwards.
“He’s a good guy on and off the court and he’s a clay court specialist so it’s not easy, especially in slow conditions today with a ball that didn’t bounce high.
“I found the good serves at the right times.”
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.