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UPDATE: Novak Djokovic Says Issuing Threats To The Fan “Did Me A Favor”…

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Novak Djokovic Angry At A Fan

Defending US Open champion Novak Djokovic says issuing threats to the fan before his match Friday night “did me a favor” as he advanced to play 2016 US Open winner Stan Wawrinka in the next round on Sunday.

Before his straight-sets victory over American Denis Kudla Friday night in Arthur Ashe Stadium, Djokovic hit the practice courts at about 7:45 p.m. Video that circulated on Twitter showed him confronting a fan at the back of his practice court who apparently said something Djokovic did not like as he was about to serve.

“I’ll come find y0u,” Djokovic says to the fan. “Trust me, I’ll come find you.”

A second video shows Djokovic asking for a picture to be taken of the fan, presumably so that he could be identified later.

“Take a photo,” Djokovic says as he points to the person behind the court.

After his 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 victory over Kudla, the 16-time Grand Slam champion was asked about the incident.

“I’m not going to talk about it,” Djokovic said. “I think he did me a favor. Even maybe he didn’t want to do me a favor, he did me a favor, big favor.”

Asked about his comment that he would “come find” the fan, Djokovic said, “To have a drink. I liked the guy. I’m going to buy him a drink.”

He declined to say what the fan said to him.

“We’ll keep it between us,” he said. “But he definitely helped me. He doesn’t even know, but he did help me.”

During the match with Kudla, Djokovic also got into it with fans in Ashe.

When a fan yelled out during a point in the first set, Djokovic yelled, “Shut the f— up,” according to an ESPN report.

In the third set, one fan in a bathrobe and shower cap and another dressed as a football player cheered when Djokovic double-faulted.

“Night sessions, New York, crowd gets into it,” Djokovic said. “A couple guys that had a couple of drinks more than I guess they were supposed to. But it was all good after.”

All of this was separate and distinct from the drama surrounding Djokovic’s left shoulder entering the match. Following his second-round win on Wednesday, he said the injury was a “hindrance to my game” and suggested he considered retiring from the match.

 

Novak Djokovic clashes with US Open fan in angry exchange

US Open 2019: Novak Djokovic Threatens Fan, Says: “I’ll find you… Trust me..!”

ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi asked Djokovic about the status of his shoulder as he went on court against Kudla, but Djokovic, coming off the practice court incident with the fan, did not want to discuss it.

“Let’s talk about that after,” he said. “I’m here, I’ve given myself a chance. I believe it’s going to be fine.”

And indeed it was. Djokovic showed no apparent signs of discomfort in his routine win over Kudla.

He didn’t want to go into detail after the match about the status of his shoulder or the measures he took to prepare for the match, either.

“It’s almost pain-free,” he said. “Has a little bit of pain, but I’m really pleased with the way it went.”

Novak Djokovic Heated Talk With Fan

Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, returns to Denis Kudla, of the United States, during round three of the U.S. Open 2019 tennis tournament

Pressed on what he did to prepare for the match, Djokovic said, “I made a decision not to get into details, not to speak about it. Please understand me.

“I’m very glad with the way it went. I am able to play. That for me is a huge blessing today because it was probably the complete opposite two days ago. I did not practice yesterday, that’s true. I did a lot of things in the last few days to be able to play.”

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The draw ahead for Djokovic will be considerably tougher now.

He will get the three-time Grand Slam champion Wawrinka in the fourth round. If he advances, he could get No. 5 seed Daniil Medvedev, arguably the hottest player on tour entering the Open, in the quarterfinals. After that, Djokovic could potentially face No. 3 seed and 20-time major champion Roger Federer in the semis, and 18-time major champ Rafael Nadal in the final.

“Well, we had some great battles over the years everywhere but especially here,” Djokovic said on court of Wawrinka. “I lost to him last time we played on this court in the finals of 2016. He’s a three-time Grand Slam champion, someone that possesses a game with a lot of power, a lot of quality. Great guy, we get along really well, we practice a lot. And let the better player win.”

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