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Novak Djokovic feels Wimbledon is turning into an indoor tournament when matches scheduled last on centre court

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This year’s matches have been scheduled over all 14 days, bringing an end to the tradition of a day off on the middle Sunday to allow the grass courts to recover.

Defending champion Novak Djokovic reacts after reaching quarterfinals at Wimbledon

Defending champion Novak Djokovic reacts after reaching quarterfinals at Wimbledon. (Courtesy: AP)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Novak Djokovic beat Tim van Rijthoven under the centre court lights
  • Djokovic has setup a quarter-final clash with Jannik Sinner
  • All England Club celebrated centenary of centre court on July 3

Defending champion Novak Djokovic said that the start timings for evening matches at the All England Club is turning Wimbledon into an indoor tournament for players scheduled to play late matches on centre court and court one.

Djokovic defeated wildcard Tim van Rijthoven 6-2, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 under the centre court lights on Sunday (July 3) to setup a quarter-final clash with Jannik Sinner.

“I don’t see a reason why there wouldn’t be an earlier start,” Djokovic was quoted as saying.

“If you’re scheduled last on the Centre, you’re going to end up a match under the roof, which changes the conditions, the style of play, the way you move on the court. It’s more slippery. The lights.

“It’s really an indoor tournament in most of the cases when you’re scheduled last on Centre or Court One.”

The Serb’s match was further delayed by the ceremony marking the centenary of centre court. The ceremony saw a parade of past and present champions.

“Of course today it was a special occasion. For me it was an honour.

“I was very happy to be part of it. It’s one of those unique moments that you get to live as a tennis player, and I’ll cherish it. But I think most of the players would probably agree that we would all want the start of the match on Centre Court pushed earlier.”

Djokovic added that while he respected the traditions of the Championships, alterations could be made to the schedule.

“Since there are some changes this year that we never thought we’d see in Wimbledon, why not move it for half an hour, one hour earlier? I think it would be quite helpful to finish matches maybe not using the roof.”

The 2022 event has been scheduled over all 14 days, bringing an end to the tradition of a day off on the middle Sunday to allow the grass courts to recover.

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