CLARE BALDING MOCKS NOVAK DJOKOVIC WITH FIRST WORDS OF BBC WIMBLEDON BROADCAST

BBC host Clare Balding began Tuesday's Wimbledon broadcast by imitating Novak Djokovic and his "gooooooood night" remark after defeating Holger Rune the following night.

After the opening montage, Balding introduced the show on BBC1 by saying: "Well hello and gooooooood day from Wimbledon, oh yes, Chanda Rubin, John Lloyd and myself will be discussing that and we will be hearing from Novak Djokovic, after he had realised what the crowd were chanting."

Following his straight-sets victory over Rune, which sealed Djokovic's place in the SW19 quarter-finals, he hit out at the crowd for what he thought were jeers towards him and using his opponent's name to hide them.

Returning the favour, Djokovic leant into the microphone during his on-court interview and said: "To all those people that have chosen to disrespect the player, in this case me, have a goooood night."

When put to him by the interviewer that those at Centre Court were instead cheering for his Danish opponent, Djokovic dismissed the idea and replied: "They were, they were, they were. I don't accept it. No, no, no."

Balding was at Centre Court to witness Djokovic's outburst and she stood by the theory that he was not being mocked. "He does like a little bit to be the panto villain, doesn't he," she asked Lloyd. "He responds to anything and everything, if they were quiet he would hate that too."

The two-time Wimbledon doubles champion replied: "Yeah, I think deep down he gets a bit annoyed at some of his rivals, in particularly Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, and they were so popular on court.

"Novak, sometimes, is just not as popular as those two. Well who would be? And I think sometimes he gets a little bit annoyed at it, the crowd gets on him, thinks it's a bit personal, it isn't."

Balding then doubled down on her view that those at Centre Court did little wrong. She explained: "Without a shadow of a doubt, and I have spoken to a lot of people who were on the court throughout the whole match, as time goes on you do get a bit more vocal here in the evenings.

"It doesn't turn into a football crowd but it's definitely a little bit more... when you have got a name like Holger Rune, a bit like they did with Sue Barker actually the other day with the Andy Murray ceremony, but also Matt Kuchar in golf and Joe Root in cricket...

"I think initially he misunderstood it, he put it to the umpire and the umpire explained it to him, but he didn't like it."

2024-07-09T12:14:54Z dg43tfdfdgfd