“I Paid Hundreds for 2 Sets and Half”: Fans Refuse to Leave During Novak Djokovic vs Matteo Berrettini at French Open 2021

Published 06/09/2021, 6:36 PM EDT
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 9, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates winning his quarter final match against Italy’s Matteo Berrettini REUTERS/Christian Hartmann


There was a huge sigh of relief for tennis fans in Paris when the lockdown restrictions were extended to 11 pm starting from 9th of June. The night sessions at Roland Garros, which were played on empty stadiums, was filled with cheering fans when Novak Djokovic played against Matteo Berrettini in the quarter-finals.

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Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 9, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in action during his quarter final match against Italy’s Matteo Berrettini REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Watch this story: Rafael Nadal vs Novak Djokovic rivalry at the French Open

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Just as anticipated, the match lived up to expectations with the Serb taking the first two sets, and Berrettini refusing to budge in the third. When a lot of local fans rallied behind the Italian, it gave him enough support to push Djokovic to a tie-breaker.

It’s a known fact that Djokovic is a tie-breaker specialist. He brings the best of him when playing breakers. But, this year, he was 6-7 down while playing tie-breakers. Either that or the fact that a major portion of the crowd were behind Berrettini didn’t allow the Serb to play the tie-breaker freely.

Djokovic lost the third set and Berrettini had the momentum going into the fourth. But, fans couldn’t stay longer to support the Italian as they were asked to vacate court Philippe-Chatrier, owing to the curfew restrictions.

Fans were disappointed as they refused to leave Novak Djokovic vs Matteo Berrettini’s match at French Open 2021

A lot of fans stayed back and waited till it was 11 pm to leave the stadium. When the organizers asked everyone to leave, there were disappointed voices shouting that they paid money to see a complete match. Few of them refused to go and slept on the seats so that the organizers won’t see them.

It was a sloppy scheduling by the organizers as they had an hour’s time after Nadal’s quarter-final match got over. Had they scheduled the Djokovic match earlier, it wouldn’t have been this messy.

With majority of the crowd cleared as soon as the announcement started, there were a few who remained as the safety officers reached their seats to clear them out. During the discussion, fans vented out their frustration with one of them saying, “I paid hundreds for two sets and a half, a shame!”. 

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However, the organizers were successful in emptying the stadium. The whole process took about 20 minutes. Once the match resumed, the Serb made quick work of Berrettini to win the fourth set. Even though the Italian saved two match points on his serve, Djokovic’s relentless push from the baseline became too hot for the Italian to handle.

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With this victory, Novak Djokovic will face Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals of French Open 2021.

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Sagar Ashtakoula

400 articles

Sagar Ashtakoula is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Having developed an interest in creating content, he mixed his passion for writing with his love for tennis for 2 years at SportsKeeda before joining the tennis team at EssentiallySports.

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