Novak Djokovic reacts to claim he requested afternoon match vs Monfils

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Novak Djokovic has denied he asked for any favours from the Australian Open organisers regarding the time of his second round match on Thursday.

The current world number 14, who missed a major part of the last year due to injury, defeated France’s Gaël Monfils 4-6, 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 to book his place in the third round.

But with the temperature soaring up to 39C, it quickly became a battle of who could handle the heat better.

Of course, the high temperatures had been expected and before the match American broadcaster Chris Fowler surprisingly claimed the Serbian had actually asked for his clash vs Monfils to be played during the hottest period of the day.

“Gonna be 97 degrees at match time: interesting that @DjokerNole REQUESTED heat of the day for today’s collision with Monfils. Could’ve had night match. Sign of confidence," Fowler posted via his verified Twitter account.

"Long time ago, but remember ‘05 USO when he twice needed medical help to survive heat vs Gael."

It's true, Monfils did appear to struggle in the blazing Melbourne sun far more his opponent and wilted towards the end of the four-set defeat.

However, when asked whether there was any truth to Fowler's claim, Djokovic insisted he had not requested his match to be scheduled in afternoon.

“No, I was fine with whenever they put me,” he said.

Nevertheless, with even higher temperatures forecasted for Friday, Novak does think more can be done to protect players in such circumstances.

“It’s more business than a sport," the Serb continued, as per The Guardian.

"At times I don’t like that. Of course we’re all blessed to have great financial compensation, great lives.I’m very grateful for that. At the same time, what is most important for us is our health and what happens after our careers, after you’re 30, 35.

"There are many players [who] can’t physically walk, run, jog, whatever. They’re struggling some way or another, health-wise or physiologically."


Djokovic has already won 12 Grand Slam titles in his 15-year long career, and has enjoyed the most success at the Australian Open, a tournament he has won more than anyone else - six times. 

He will play the Spanish world number 24 Albert Ramos Viñolas in the round of 32, who defeated America’s Tim Smyczek 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 in straight sets.

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Novak Djokovic
Australian Open

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