Novak Djokovic is not happy about how the schedule system works at the Rome Open. On Friday the Serbian ended his quarter-finals match against Kei Nishikori after 9:00 PM, and he will just have a 17-hour time before facing Rafael Nadal in the semifinals.
The Spaniard ended his match against Fabio Fognini at 2:00 PM. The situation was similar in 2016 when Djokovic beat Nishikori in the semis at around midnight, and at 4:00 PM on Sunday he was already back on court to face in the final Andy Murray, who like Nadal had enjoyed more rest. At the same time, it's true that the schedule on Central Court today was strongly influenced by the three-hour and a half match between Maria Sharapova and Jelena Ostapenko.Just after, Djokovic could head to the court to play.
The Serbian complained about it with organizers just after the match and then he explained the whole situation to media: 'Why do you think I was late in the press conference? Let's leave it here as it is. Because we could spend all night talking about this, as I have for the past thirty minutes or an hour.
But, there are many things that just don't make sense here. Not just this tournament but just in general. This has already been several times in my career that I am facing this particular situation. And let's just talk about this another time.
Hope you understand. Thank you.' Djokovic also spoke about how it feels to go so far in a tournament again: 'It means a lot to me to be able to play semifinals of the tournament again. It's been a year, as you said.
I think the last semifinals actually was here, or, no, probably before Wimbledon. Small tournament. This is what I was looking forward to. This is what I was hoping, you know, to achieve. Obviously, I don't want to stop here.
Tomorrow is going to be the ultimate challenge on clay. You know, beating Rafa is a really difficult thing to do on this surface. But, I've done it before. And, obviously, I'm a different player today than I was in the time I was winning against him on clay.
But I believe in myself. I will go out on the court trying to win.' ALSO READ: Monica Puig announces heartbroken news