Novak Djokovic was locked in a heated argument with a spectator during his Australian Open match against Alexei Popyrin on Wednesday.
The 24-time Grand Slam champion took on the Australian home favourite in front of a packed crowd on Rod Laver Arena, eventually winning 6-3 4-6 7-6 6-3.
Djokovic took the first set but then lost the second in dramatic fashion, with the Serbian having now already lost more sets at this year’s tournament than in his entire run to the title in 2023 after his opening win over Dino Prizmic.
It looked like it was going to get even worse for the world No.1 in the third but he managed to save four set points before regaining his lead via a tie-break.
It then got heated in the fifth game of the fourth set as Djokovic got involved in a confrontation with a particular fan.
After he went on to book his place in the third round, Djokovic told Eurosport: ‘You have to accept the circumstances you are playing in.
‘People made noise between first and second serve the entire match. It is what it is. Of course it annoys you.
‘What really frustrates me is when someone is heckling. I confront hecklers. I think Nick Kyrgios loved that. Nick, did you like that exchange?
‘I invited the guy to come and say it to my face. He was then apologising and there is an absence of courage when he has to face me.’
Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios, watching the match for Eurosport, said: ‘There’s always some jerk in the crowd.
‘He’s got extra motivation now. You don’t want to poke the bear.’