Novak Djokovic backs up Alexander Zverev criticism of ‘disgraceful’ ATP scheduling

Novak Djokovic press conference

Novak Djokovic is firmly in Alexander Zverev’s corner when it comes to criticism of the scheduling of some ATP tournaments, saying it is not fair to ask a player to compete in a final after their previous match ended in the early hours of the morning.

Zverev hit out at the powers that be after his Madrid Open final defeat against Carlos Alcaraz on Sunday, describing the scheduling as “an absolute disgrace” as he revealed that he went to bed at 5:20am after his semi-final win over Stefanos Tsitsipas and had to be back on court a few hours later.

The German was full of praise for Alcaraz as he felt the teenager deserved the win, but explained that he struggled throughout the match due to a lack of sleep.

Alexander Zverev slams ATP over ‘disgraceful’ Madrid Open scheduling, saying: ‘I’m a little tired of it’

“Today on court, I’m a little bit angry, I would say, because I had no coordination on my serve, I had no coordination on my groundstrokes. I missed two overheads that were super easy because I see the ball, and everything is moving in my eyes,” he said.

“I don’t want to take anything away, and today obviously, even if I’m fresh, probably I would not beat Carlos, but definitely it would be a better match.

Djokovic says it has been an issue for a while and feels organisers should get the opinions of players before making decisions about scheduling.

“You cannot end your semi-final match at 1am and play the final the following day,” he said. “I understand that they want to sell more tickets by scheduling a night session on Saturday, but it may cause problems.

“The organisers should talk to players before making this kind of decisions. When I was the President of the Player’s Council several years ago, I tried to solve this issue. But still, nothing changed.”