The Serbian led Enzo Couacaud by two sets to one and 2-0 in the fourth set when he finally snapped after being heckled by four fans in ‘Where’s Wally?’ fancy dress.
Djokovic, who would eventually win 6-1, 6-7, 6-2, 6-0, remonstrated with the umpire at deuce in the epic game, demanding the fans to be removed from Rod Laver Arena.
“The guy is drunk out of his mind,” Djokovic told chair umpire Fergus Murphy when pointing out the fan, who would eventually be tossed out following the game, which lasted 12 minutes and 14 seconds.
“From the first point he’s been provoking me. He's not here to watch tennis, he just wants to get in my head, you heard him at least 10 times, I heard him 50.
“What are you going to do about it? Get him out of the stadium.”
The tension came after a testing match, with the 35-year-old struggling to contend with the Frenchman’s game and a troubling hamstring injury.
And Djokovic’s hamstring injury, which has caused havoc to his build-up to the grand slam, flared up in the second set.
The nine-time champion at Melbourne Park let out a cry of pain after the ninth game of the second set, clutching his left hamstring.
Djokovic, ahead by a set but down in the second set at 5-4, immediately called for the trainer to examine his injury. After a brief conversation, Djokovic returned to the lockerroom for treatment.
Following the three-minute medical timeout, which lasted almost 10 minutes, Djokovic returned to the court with plaster underneath the tape around the problem area.
He would hold serve to stay in the set but continued to pull up at the end of points. But the gritty Djokovic moved clear in the match despite losing a second-set tie-breaker, winning the third set 6-2 with some sensational tennis. And Djokovic held his nerve to advance to the third round in four sets, with a match against Grigor Dimitrov next.
“It's expected when you walk on the court as a favourite,” Djokovic said of the match. “Somebody playing his first time on Rod Laver Arena, you have to adapt and accept it.”