Heckling Federer fan goes viral
If this is how Novak Djokovic looks at his friends, you'd hate to be his enemy.
The world No. 1 was captured delivering a withering glare at a fan who was wearing a Roger Federer hat and reportedly heckling during his first round match at the French Open.
The Serbian star turned in the man's direction and held his stare for several seconds as he used his racket to knock the clay from his shoes before blowing a kiss.
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Djokovic shrugged off the incident which was hard to ignore at a tournament where only 1000 fans are allowed on site each day due to coronavirus restrictions.
"No, that's my childhood friend. I sent him a kiss after I won the game. It was very nice to see him," he said.
The tennis media has been looking for any sign Djokovic is still being weighed down by his US Open disqualification, after a swiped ball that felled a line judge.
But - after capturing a record 36th Masters title in Rome in the immediate aftermath - he insists the controversy is a thing of the past.
"I have not had any traces of New York in my mind. I'm over it," he said.
Djokovic was described as a "snake killing its prey" by vanquished Roland Garros opponent Mikael Ymer on Wednesday as the Serb's bid to become the first man in half a century to win all four Grand Slam titles twice got off to a convincing start.
Djokovic eased to a 6-0, 6-2, 6-3 victory, reaching the second round in Paris for a record-equalling 16th time.
It was also his 32nd win in 33 matches in 2020, his only loss coming when he was defaulted from the US Open.
"It felt like when a snake kills its prey," was the blunt verdict of 23-year-old Ymer who never recovered from dropping the first set in just 20 minutes under the roof of Court Philippe Chatrier.
"He hits it pretty big. I had chances to rally but then I got suffocated. It was corner to corner and he rarely misses.
"At the beginning, it was just surreal. The court felt big and I was nervous because I was facing the best on the other side."
Wednesday's demolition was the not the first time Ymer, the world number 80 from Sweden, had faced Djokovic, who is chasing a second French Open title and 18th career major.
The two hit together at Wimbledon in 2015 on the morning of the men's final when Djokovic went on to beat Federer for the title and Ymer was readying for the boys championship match which he lost to Reilly Opelka of the United States.
Top seed Djokovic will meet Lithuania's Ricardas Berankis for a place in the last 32.
Berankis, the world number 66, won his first main draw match at Roland Garros after six losses when he saw off Hugo Dellien of Bolivia 6-1, 6-4, 6-4.
Originally published as Heckling Federer fan goes viral