Novak Djokovic remained calm as a heckler shouted mid-match that he should get vaccinated during this weekend’s Australian Open.
Djokovic was up to serve Friday during a match point when the heckler shouted, “Get vaccinated.” In an effort to quiet the heckler during the sport that is typically only accompanied by applause, a voice came over the intercom to simply say, “Please.” The rest of the crowd seemingly booed the heckler while Djokovic stepped back from the court to recompose himself.
Then Djokovic served directly at his opponent Tomas Martin Etcheverry, but Etcheverry was unable to return it, winning Djokovic the match 6-3 6-3 7-6.
Other players like Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Paula Badosa have similarly complained about the conduct of the spectators during the Australian Open, claiming some meowed while others were just noisy. The Australian Open’s Court 6 now features a bar that can facilitate some 400 guests right alongside it.
In March, Miami Open Tournament Director James Blake denied Djokovic a vaccine exemption, forcing him to miss that ATP Masters event. Djokovic has won that tournament six times, most recently in 2016.
Djokovic went on to win the next round Sunday, with a score of 6-0 6-0 6-3, advancing to the Open quarter-finals.
With the win on Sunday, Djokovic tied Roger Federer’s all-time record of reaching the last eight of a Grand Slam.