Novak Djokovic Confronts Heckler At Australian Open: ‘Come Say That To My Face’

World No.1 tennis player Novak Djokovic has clapped back at hecklers in the Australian Open crowd during his second-round match against Aussie favourite Alexei Popyrin.

Novak and Popyrin were 2-2 in the fourth set when a man in the crowd piped up. While it’s not clear what the crowd member says, Djokovic clearly tells him to “come say that to my face”.

They have a cheeky exchange for a few seconds and the man even gets up in the stands. But soon after, Djokovic simply turns his back to the man to get on with the match because he’s a professional and this man is literally a spectator who presumably paid to be there.

While he looked pretty miffed from the exchange, it seemed to work in Djokovic’s favour as he played with a hefty dose of extra gusto. I’ve always said it — nothing fuels you like anger!! So HEALTHY!

When asked what Mr. “I like to yell things from the stands,” said, Djokovic played it pretty coy.

“You don’t want to know,” he said. What a coy boy!!!

Thankfully for the nosey nellies amongst us, he elaborated on the situation.

“There was a lot of things that were being told to me on the court, particularly from that corner, and the same side the other corner,” he said, per The Sydney Morning Herald.

“I was tolerating it for most of the match. At one point I had enough, and I asked him whether he wants to come down and tell it to my face.

“When you confront somebody, unfortunately for him, he didn’t have the courage to come down. That’s what I was asking him. If you have courage, if you’re such a tough man, tough guy, come down and tell it to my face, and let’s have a discussion about it.

“He was apologising from far away. That’s all it is.”

(Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

Djokovic also noted that it helped him up his game, but he didn’t like playing in such a hostile environment.

“Maybe that was needed for me to be shaken up a bit and start to find the kind of intensity on the court that I needed to have all match,” he said.

Meanwhile, in the Eurosport commentary box, Nick Kyrgios was pissed by the viewers heckling.

“There’s always some jerk in the crowd who wouldn’t say something to Novak’s face,” he said.

“There’s always going to be people who don’t like your success, I guess. It’s a shame because all he does every year is come down here to Australia and give us world-class tennis. Absurd isn’t it?”

Djokovic being interviewed by Kyrgios on January 11. (Photo by Kelly Defina/Getty Images)

During an interview after the match, Kyrgios offered to be his former rival’s personal bodyguard.

“When he was heckling you, Novak, I told everyone from the commentary box worldwide, ‘If you want me to jump into the crowd and sort him out, I’ve got your back 100 per cent, bro.”

“I’ll keep that in mind — thanks, Kygs,” Djokovic responded with a giggle.

We love wholesome tennis friendships!!!