Djokovic calls British crowd "slightly unfair" during win over Edmund

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Novak Djokovic took issue with a "strange decision" by the chair umpire and with some reaction from the Centre Court crowd during his win over Britian's Kyle Edmund. (Getty Images)

LONDON—Novak Djokovic found some members of the partisan British crowd "unfair" during his match against Kyle Edmund, with an officiating error also going against the Serb during this third-round win.

"It was a Davis Cup-like atmosphere. I expected them to support Kyle, obviously. But at times they were slightly unfair to me," Djokovic said.

There were boos and calls as Djokovic received a time violation, with the former No. 1 saying that some in the crowd kept it up until he wrapped up victory.

"I know I took more time, that's okay," said Djokovic, noting that his complaint was not with the umpire. "I thought the crowd's reaction after that was quite unnecessary. A couple guys really, you know, pretending they were coughing and whistling while I was bouncing the ball. Those are the things obviously that people don't get to see or hear on the TV. I just think it's not necessary.

"In general, the atmosphere was as expected in a way because I played a home player."

Match point—Djokovic d. Edmund

Djokovic added that the crowd had been more hostile than when he has played home favorite Andy Murray.

"I played Andy couple times. I played him Olympic Games. I played him Wimbledon. It was not like this, definitely," he said.

The three-time tournament champion also argued the umpire's call during the seventh game of the fourth set, saying Edmund's ball was not up when he hit it for a winner. But the umpire ruled that Edmund had reached it on the first bounce, and according to Djokovic, did not allow him to challenge where Edmund's shot landed. A television replay indicated that Edmund had not reached it on the first bounce and additionally, that his racquet had hit the net and his shot had gone wide.

Djokovic was muted when talking about the incident, saying the umpire had made a "strange decision." He also said Edmund might not have known that the ball had bounced twice when he hit it.

Djokovic next plays Karen Khachanov in the fourth round.


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