Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Amer Delic goes to the internet to urge fans to keep it cool
Amer Delic wants to calm his rowdy Bosnian fans ahead of his third-round match against Novak Djokovic.
Delic planned to post a message on his website urging fans to settle down and not embarrass themselves. Extra security was also required for his match after a group of Serbian supporters turned up after watching Janko Tipsarevic lose to Marin Cilic.
"I'm going to try and tell my fans that we don't need to be embarrassing ourselves in front of the world, and I'm hoping Novak says something to the Serbian fans also, to leave the politics aside," said Delic.
"It's not my fault and it's not Novak's fault, we're out here playing tennis and we need to keep it that way so I'm going to try and address it somehow. I actually have a website so I'm going to put a message on there and I know some of them follow it.
I know some of the Bosnian leaders here, some leaders of the Bosnian community, so I'm going to tell them that it's a tennis match, nothing else." Delic said.
Tipsarevic had to twice ask his fans not to verbally abuse his opponent Cilic. The Serb also said he did not like it when both Serb and Croat fans yelled personally offensive chants during the match.
Youth of Croat and Serbian origin, clad in national flags and scattered in groups across the court, yelled chants ranging from: "I love Serbia" and "Go Croatia" to more offensive chants criticising the individual players.
"Both Serbs and Croats were a little bit incorrect, singing songs that had nothing to do with tennis because of the history we have with each other. I think two or three times I even said to the Serbian crowd, don't call him names. It's OK to cheer for me but don't say bad things about him." Tipsarevic said.
After the game the fans stood face-to-face where each group yelled a loud chant before turning to leave in separate directions followed by police and security guards.
Tipsarevic said that although the chanting was loud, it did not influence the game or greatly disturb the players.
"Of course there was a little bit of rudeness towards the players, Croatians to me and Serbs to Marin, but what I liked and was surprised about was there was no clapping between the first and second serve or no mobile phones ringing at an important part." he added.
However, both players described the game as "intense" and discussed how the chants made conditions tougher for both players.
"But I really don't think that the crowd had anything to do with the result. I think that Marin was better played than me." Tipsarevic said.
Cilic told reporters that he was glad the match didn't drag on.
Article from The Age
Photo credit should read TORSTEN BLACKWOOD/AFP/Getty Images