Novak Djokovic: 'Tennis is an industry, more business than a sport'

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Novak Djokovic: 'Tennis is an industry, more business than a sport'

Novak Djokovic had a very long and interesting press conference after beating Gael Monfils in four sets, 4-6, 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 in the second round. Monfils had said he had never played in conditions as hot as these before. Asked if they were the toughest conditions he had ever played in, Djokovic replied: 'One of the toughest ones, yeah. The conditions were brutal, that's for sure. I mean, we both struggled. Maybe he struggled a bit more, you know, in a period, end of the second set, entire third set. That's where I think I managed to get on top of him, you know, get even on sets, obviously start off well in the third.'

Should the 25-second time rule be enforced in such circumstances? 'I got a time violation today, and didn't say anything. Chair umpire in the next changeover was trying to justify why he gave me a time violation. I said, "I have nothing to say. You're completely right." I went over.'

Are there any risks to playing in such conditions? 'If we talk about rules, there is a rule about index, combination between temperature and humidity. I'm not so sure about that, to be honest. I think, you know, there are certain days where you just have to, as a tournament supervisor, recognize that you might need to give players few extra hours until it comes down. I understand there is a factor of tickets. If you don't play matches, people will be unhappy. You have to take into consideration different angles before making a big call like that. But people might say, Well, at this level you have to be as a professional tennis player fit. It's the beginning of the season. You kind of work and train hard to be able to sustain these kind of conditions, to be tough. But I think there is a limit, and that is a level of I guess tolerance between being fit and being, I think, in danger in terms of health.'

Asked if the ATP should take a cue from the WTA about changing the venue for the ATP World Tour Finals, Djokovic replied: 'I need to congratulate them. I mean, that's a big success for WTA, for all the female players. They deserve it. No doubt about it. They fight to have the best possible tour for them. In my opinion this kind of event should travel, because it's just probably the biggest leverage that we have. I mean, outside Grand Slams, ATP is obviously not behind Grand Slams. This is the biggest event that ATP has. But London has always been the safest option, I would say, because of obviously different reasons and history. But I think it should be exploited a little bit more. It should be leveraged more because of the promotion of our sport. If we want to grow our sport, especially in regions like China or those parts of the world where tennis is popular, I think we should think about it, just maybe travel it a little bit more.'

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