Novak Djokovic on Saturday called for a change in timing for Olympic tennis matches after winning his opening round in 34 Celsius heat and high humidity,
The Serb who is chasing a possible Golden Slam – all four major titles and Olympic gold in the same season – may be worried that his quest could be in vain if he cannot deal with torrid Tokyo conditions.
The world No.1 who has already bagged Australian, Paris and Wimbledon trophies this season, began his Games quest over Bolivian Hugo Dellien 6-2 6-2.
But victory was a sweat for the top seed, who did not hesitate to complain after advancing at the Ariake Colosseum venue.
“It was the hottest day so far; because it’s very hot and also very humid, the hard courts absorb the heat, and it stays trapped in there.
“Not much wind, not much breeze.
“Maybe other days there was a bit more wind, which helped refresh and cool down, but not much today, so it was challenging but I’m pleased to overcome the first hurdle.”
He then joined Russian second seed Daniil Medvedev in calling for a change in timing, a bid which is unlikely to go down well in protocol-rich Japan where deviation from the established programme is certainly not a part of the national psyche.
“I’ve heard for tennis there is some kind of curfew they have to finish at midnight, but if that’s the case, I’ve just finished the last match and it’s not even 5 p.m.
“They have lights on all the courts, they’re going to make life much easier for all of us tennis players, I just don’t understand why they don’t move it.
“I don’t know, maybe ITF can give a better answer to why they chose to be played in the middle of the day. I doubt they will change the decision, but we’re hoping that they will.”
While he was at it, Djokovic grabbed the chance to complain about one-minute changeover instead of the more usual minute and a half.
“If you ask 200 players, I think 195 will tell you that one minute is a joke. It should be 1:30.”
Main photo;- Novak Djokovic hot and bothered in Tokyo © ATPTour.com