Borna Gojo is pulling no punches after making the second week of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career. The world No 105 came through qualifying to reach the main draw of the US Open and is now through to the fourth round to face Novak Djokovic. And Gojo gave his thoughts on tennis, claiming it was too boring as he wanted to see more fan freedom and more swearing.
Gojo is having the best run of his career, now on a six-match winning streak after qualifying for the US Open and reaching the round of 16. The Croat has dropped just one set in his entire run – to Hamad Medjedovic in his first-round qualifying match – and now has his biggest test yet.
The 25-year-old will take on 23-time Grand Slam winner Djokovic in the next round. But Gojo seems ready to take on a champion like Djokovic as he has come through the college tennis route and is no stranger to a “crazy” atmosphere. And the world No 105 made his feelings about the sport clear as he went on a rant about the big changes he would make to stop tennis from “dying”.
“I don’t mind the noise. I played college tennis, so for me it’s always – the crazier, the better. I am used to it. I like it when the atmosphere gets a bit tense, because tennis is an extremely boring sport,” Gojo told Tennis Majors.
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“I never had any incidents with the fans, but there were a lot of heated moments in college, people throwing stuff at you for instance. Once, my teammate wanted to fight, so the police had to prevent things from escalating. I feel tennis is a dying product and that we need more of that. I would change all the rules.”
The Wake Forest University alum wanted to see more of that confrontation in tennis, as well as freedom for the fans coming in and out of the stadiums. He continued: “Firstly, I would like for ball boys to bring the towels, because I have to walk every time. I would love if the players were allowed a shoulder bump or trash talk, a bit of provocation.
“We don’t have to fight, but I would like to be able to say something to my opponent. The way things are now – I say something and they call the police instantly, it’s so rigid. Also, I would like for the spectators to be able to walk and talk. Some players have a problem with someone moving in the 77th row of the stands at biggest stadiums.
“On outside courts everybody is walking, so what? I would allow for people to come and go as they please so that they don’t have to wait for two games. I know how it feels from my time as a fan. Furthermore, I don’t see any reason why people shouldn’t cheer during points? Okay, it might bother you at some point, but so what?”
And Gojo said he would keep swearing during tennis matches if he wanted to, noting that it was never an issue in other sports like football and basketball. “I will swear again. People say that I don’t know how to behave. Well, those people should go on the court, do something, get off the couch, play some sports, play at Wimbledon – and then we can talk if they don’t swear,” he added.
It remains to be seen whether Gojo brings out the swearing and trash talk when he takes on Djokovic on Sunday. But the Croat has already had a successful tournament regardless of the outcome against the second seed, and Gojo is now set to break into the top 100 for the first time.