“Come and say that in my face!”


Novak Djokovic took on a rowdy Rod Laver Arena crowd during his second-round clash at the 2024 Australian Open on Wednesday (January 17). It wasn’t a surprise considering he was playing local lad Alexei Popyrin.

The voices of dissent got worse as the match went on, as the World No. 1 saved multiple set points to take the third set into a tiebreaker after the first two were shared between the two players.

In the fourth set, one fan, in particular, got under Djokovic’s skin, yelling at him from behind him in the stands. The 24-time Grand Slam champion did not take the heckling lightly either, silencing him by shouting:

“Come and say that in my face!”

The fan quieted down after that, after which action resumed in Melbourne Park. The Serb went on to take the fourth set comfortably, winning 6-3, 4-6, 7-7(4), 6-3 in a little over three hours to reach the third round of the 2024 Australian Open.

Novak Djokovic to take on 30th seed Tomas Martin Etcheverry in Australian Open third round

2024 Australian Open - Day 4
2024 Australian Open – Day 4

Following his win over Alexei Popyrin, Novak Djokovic will take on 30th seed Tomas Martin Etcheverry in the third round of the 2024 Australian Open.

In his first two rounds, the Argentine has defeated Andy Murray and Gael Monfils, both in straight sets. By contrast, Djokovic has lost a set each in his two matches so far, also losing the second set against Dino Prizmic in his opener on Sunday.

The Serb has faced Etcheverry twice in the past, winning both encounters in straight sets — at the 2023 Italian Open, followed by a meeting at the Paris Masters later that year.

A third win in as many matches against him would pit the 24-time Grand Slam champion against either 16th seed Ben Shelton or 20th seed Adriano Mannarino in the third round at Melbourne Park.

Although battling a cold this week, the 36-year-old appeared confident about overcoming the infection soon, stating that he will adapt to the circumstances and try to make the best out of it.

“I am a bit under the weather last, yeah, four, five days. You can probably judge by my voice. Look, it is what it is. You just have to try to deal with it and get over it and accept the circumstances and try to make the most of it,” Djokovic said in his post-match press conference after the first-round win over Prizmic.

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