Novak Djokovic ‘not a fan’ of changes to ATP Masters 1000 events – ‘We already have four Grand Slams a year’

Novak Djokovic press conference

The expansion of some ATP Masters 1000 events to two-week tournaments is not good news for everyone, according to Novak Djokovic as he admits it could leave some players tired for Grand Slams if they don’t get their schedules right.

ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi announced in June last year that five Masters 1000 tournaments would switch to two-week formats over the next few years to bring them in line with the Sunshine Double – Indian Wells Open and Miami Open – which have been played over 14 days the past few years.

This year the Madrid Open, Italian Open and Shanghai Masters are expanding to 96-player draws before the Canadian Open and Cincinnati Masters follow suit in 2025 with only the Monte Carlo Masters and Paris Masters sticking to one-week schedules.

However, there have been several complaints at the recently concluded Madrid Open about the lack of action during the first week while Rome has had similar complaints last week, including poor turnouts on match days and high ticket prices.

22-time Grand Slam winner Djokovic was asked for his thoughts on the issue and replied: “It depends really from which angle you’re looking at it. I mean, I’m personally overall not a fan of that because I feel like we already have four Grand Slams a year that take two plus one week eventually if you go all the way with training. You spend 10 to 12 weeks only in Grand Slams.

“Now we’re going to have eight out of nine 1000 events be the same for next year: pretty much a two-week event.”

“As I said it depends from which perspective you are looking at. If you’re a fan, of course an extra day of seeing the top players is great because you have more tennis in your city. I understand from that point of view.”

By the end of 2025 there will be seven ATP Masters 1000 events and four Grand Slams played over two-week periods, giving players more rest days in between matches, but it also extends their playing schedules.

Djokovic added: “You mentioned that it might be advantage because of the recovery. Yes, it could be the case in that given tournament. But then if you play all the big events on clay, for example, you played Indian Wells and Miami, that is also kind of a month duration for two events, then you play Monte Carlo, Barcelona, then back to back Rome and Madrid, if you play really well and go all the way, you’re maybe not the freshest for Roland Garros.

“It really depends what you as a player value the most, what are your goals. For me it’s Roland Garros on clay, for sure, the most important event. I’m trying to do everything in terms of the schedule to set up so that I can play my best there.

“It’s not a guarantee that I will, but I have some experience over the years and I know what I need to do with my team and my preparations in order to peak at Slams, because those are the most important tournaments for me.

“I don’t want to get into the financials, that is a completely different discussion. We can spend all day talking about it, but it really matters from which perspective you look at it. The positive thing is you are giving more players an opportunity to be in the main draw.”

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