Understandably, Novak Djokovic was unhappy with Wimbledon decision to move his fourth round match against Adrian Mannarino to Tuesday. Djokovic-Mannarino was to follow the Rafael Nadal-Gilles Muller epic, but when that match ran long, Wimbledon had the option as early as 7pm to move Djokovic to an empty Centre Court.
But the tournament opted to not to move due to safety concerns with fans rushing to get into Centre. So they waited for Nadal to end and minutes before it did, they finally cancelled Djokovic.
“It was a long day for both Mannarino and me,” Djokovic said. “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 7:00. Having in mind that Centre Court has the roof and lights, we could have played till 11:00.
“We went to the referee’s office before 8:00. There was security reasons. That was the only excuse, that basically there were explanations that we were getting. I just didn’t see any logic in not playing us on the Centre Court.
“Obviously was not happy not to play last night,” he added. “We were kept for two and a half hours in the dark, in a way, without knowing what we are going to do.
“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.”
Djokovic did take the court today and got past the Frenchmen 62, 76(5), 64 in 2 hours, 15 minutes. The Serb now has a quick turnaround tomorrow to face Tomas Berdych second on Court 1. Djokovic is 25-2 against the Czech.
“He beat me here in semi-finals in 2010,” said Djokovic. “It was I think his first Grand Slam final. Obviously, he’s been around many years. He was an established Top 10 player, big game, flat shots, which are pretty good for this surface where the ball bounces quite low.
He’s someone that understands the occasion of playing big matches, big tournaments. He will not get overwhelmed by the stadium or whatever. He’s been there so many years. He’s got experience. It’s important to start off well. I’ve played him many times. I know what I need to do. Hopefully I can execute that.”
And we saw today, Djokovic was also fighting an issue with his shoulder/elbow.
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