With conditions on the court in Melbourne swelteringly hot, reaching highs of 42 degrees centigrade, Rafael Nadal believes playing later on a regular basis is handing players such as Roger Federer an unfair advantage.
The world no.1 described conditions as 'very, very tough' and also brought into question the potential risk of playing in such conditions, saying it’s ‘not safe enough’.
This issue came to a head during Gael Monfils’ second-round match against Novak Djokovic, where the Frenchman complained of having suffered a ‘small heat stroke’ as temperatures soared.
Meanwhile, Federer is due to play three evening matches in succession, at times when conditions are markedly more comfortable for the players.
And when asked if he thought certain players are at an advantage, Rafa subtly took a swipe at both his Swiss counterpart, and the organisation of such events.
"Playing day or night? Of course, there is players that plays more on night," Nadal said, as per The Metro.
"You know the same like me why there is player that play the night and others play the day."
And when questioned on why, a smirking Nadal made sure he didn’t give too much away.
He added: "There is television, there is tickets to sell, there is players that achieve more than others.
''That’s why some players plays in prime time and other ones don’t play in the prime time. That’s easy to understand. It’s not about fair or not fair."
And Federer himself admitted that he was "possibly" treated favourably because of his standing in the game.
Speaking after his second round win over Jan Lennard-Struff on Thursday, the 19-time grand-slam winner said: "There’s other guys out there like Novak. Other guys they’ll listen to like the Aussies.
"There’s TV stuff as well, I don’t know what you guys ask for at night.
"I’m happy I didn’t have to go from night to day and then maybe back to night so I’m happy to stay in same rhythm."
"But I wouldn’t mind playing in the day, I hope I thrive under those conditions too. Because if you want to get to the top you have to play in all conditions.
"But for sure, it’s helpful to play now rather than in those conditions."
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