WATCH: Novak Djokovic chats with the media after defeating Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the third round at Roland Garros.


Novak Djokovic didn't just have to beat Spain's Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in Friday's third round at Roland Garros. He also took on the French crowd who eagerly supported the Spaniard, particularly in the first two sets, of Djokovic's 7-6(4), 7-6(5), 6-2 triumph on Court Philippe-Chatrier. Davidovich Fokina not only served for the opening set, but also had set point in the second set.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion later weighed in on the adoring (or irreverent, depending on who you ask) French public, who've been the the hottest topic at Roland Garros over the last 24 hours after American Taylor Fritz gave as good as he got from them in a late-night win over the last Frenchman standing, Arthur Rinderknech on Thursday night.

Over the years, Djokovic said, he's had his own battles with the locals.

Q. Can I just ask you about your relationship with the crowd here in Paris? It's been described over the last couple of days as one of the most hostile places to play tennis. Because you're the favorite, they often want to cheer for the underdog. I wonder what your relationship is with that and how you feel you win them over as the match goes on?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Up and down, I would say, throughout my career. They gave me a lot of support I think the years where I was losing in finals or, you know, the last couple of steps before winning a title. Those years, you know, I received quite a lot of support and love, and I was very grateful for that. I have wonderful memories.

I still get support, you know, even today. I think majority of the people comes to enjoy tennis or support one or the other player. But they are individuals. You know, they are people, they're groups or whatever, that love to boo every single thing you do. That's something that I find disrespectful and I frankly don't understand that. But it's their right. They paid the ticket. They can do whatever they want.

At times, you know, I will stay quiet. Not at times. Actually 99% of the time I will stay quiet. Sometimes I will oppose that, because I feel when somebody is disrespectful, you know, he or she deserves to have an answer to that. That's what it is all about.

As the tournament moves into its second week, Djokovic's pursuit of a record-extending 23rd Grand Slam singles title, rolls on. But will the fan support come with him?