“You can’t finish your semifinal match at 1 AM and play the final the next day”

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic spoke out against the organizers of the Madrid Open for scheduling a late-night semifinal on Saturday ahead of Sunday’s final.

The Serb, who got past Aslan Karatsev 6-3, 6-2 in his opening match at the Italian Open, came out in support of Alexander Zverev in his press conference. The German had criticized the timing of his late-night semifinal against Stefanos Tsitispas in Madrid.

“You can’t finish your semifinal match at 1:00 AM and play the final the next day. I understand that they want to sell more tickets by scheduling a late night session on Saturday, but that can cause problems,” Djokovic said.

Zverev got past Tsisipas in a semifinal that began at 11 pm local time and ended at 1 am in the morning. Following the match, the German went through a session with his physio and was also seen practicing his serve di lui.

Zverev, who lost a one-sided final against Carlos Alcaraz 6-3, 6-1, made no secret of his displeasure with regards to the scheduling. The German was up until the wee hours of the morning ahead of the final, which began at 6.30 pm local time on Sunday.

Incidentally, Zverev faced a similar issue following his quarter-final win over Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Defending champion Alexander Zverev wins an 8th consecutive match in Madrid, beating Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-3, 7-5 to reach the semifinals in Madrid. Rematch from the Monte Carlo semifinal vs. Tsitsipas tomorrow.Tsitsipas is the only player that beat Zverev here since 2017 !! https://t.co/tfZcRaHu56

“Two days ago I went to bed at 4:30 am. Yesterday I went to bed at 5:20 am,” Zverev said. “If a normal person goes to bed one night at 4:00 am and the next night at 5:00 am, it will be difficult for them to be active. And for me, playing a final against Alcaraz, the best player in the world today and in a Masters 1000, the next day, is difficult. “

“When I was the president of the Players’ Council several years ago, I tried to solve this problem” – Novak Djokovic

The Serb called on tournament organizers to communicate better with players - Image ctsy: ESPN.com.ar

After yesterday’s successful meeting, we are excited to announce the beginning of the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA). The first player only association in tennis since 1972. #PTPA https://t.co/q8H0aOdqDl

The World No. 1 stated via a letter put out on social media that he would not contest the election to the ATP Player Council as he did not wish to create “conflict or uncertainty.”

Djokovic, a five-time winner at the Italian Open, will play his next match on Thursday.


Edited by Nihal Taraporvala

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