Novak Djokovic slams Wimbledon officials for fourth round decision

Novak Djokovic has been left furious with the All England Club and the referee’s office at Wimbledon after his match with Adrian Mannarino was delayed from Monday ’till Tuesday.

Serbian Djokovic, 30, was left fuming after officials refused to allow his match to go ahead after the conclusion of the match between Rafael Nadal and Gilles Muller.

Djokovic said: “It was a long day for Mannarino and me.

“We were scheduled to play after an epic match, Nadal and Muller.

“It was one of those kind of days where you just had to kind of warm up, cool down, and be on standby to go onto the court.”

“We spoke with the referee, supervisors, trying to understand the thought process that they are having. I just think it was a wrong decision not to play us last night, because we could have played. I think the last match on the Centre Court was done before 7pm. Having in mind that Centre Court has the roof and lights, we could have played till 11pm.

“We went to the referee’s office before 8pm. There was security reasons. That was the only excuse, that basically there were explanations that we were getting.”

Frustrated, Djokovic took issue with Wimbledon officials’ decision-making.

“I just didn’t see any logic in not playing us on the Centre Court. If the Court 1 ticketholders cannot go to the Centre Court, only the second Centre Court ticketholders can go, which they were already at the hill.

“They could just make the announcement, move them in, and we could play. But, you know, the decision was made, and that’s all. I mean, I’m actually glad that at least we were scheduled to play on Centre Court today. That match was played without any interruption. It is what it is.

“I obviously was not happy not to play last night. I wanted to play. I thought we could have played. We were kept for two and a half hours in the dark, in a way, without knowing what we are going to do. So you were on your toes warming up, cooling down. The referee’s office was completely indecisive.

“Finally when the match was over, we thought, “Okay, we have two and a half hours, we can go to Centre Court”.

“They said, “No, it’s going to take too long to get the crowd in”. Anyway, it was frustrating last night, I must admit.”

The match commenced the following day, with Djokovic winning 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4.

One of the big talking points to come from Djokovic’s outburst surrounds the lack of a fifth set tiebreaker at Wimbledon.

Just like in the French Open and Australian Open, Wimbledon does not have a fifth set tiebreaker. This essentially means games can go on indefinitely.

One famous example of this came in the first round of the 2010 Wimbledon Championship, when American John Isner defeated Frenchman Nicolas Mahut over 11 hours of play spanning three days.

Commenting on this rule, Djokovic said: “Yeah, it’s great drama. But that player has to go out tomorrow. It is for a spectator. But for a player to play a five, six hour match, then come back the next day or within two days and perform, it’s not really what your body’s looking for, to be honest.” 

It remains to be seen how Djokovic’s outburst will be viewed by the All England Club, as he progresses in the tournament.

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