Wednesday 17 January 2018

Novak Djokovic's wife hints at unrest over match postponement

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic
Serbia’s Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic's wife hinted Wimbledon's decision to hold over the three-time champion's fourth-round match until Tuesday had not gone down well.

Gilles Muller's epic win over Rafael Nadal, which finished in fading light at 8.32pm, meant only two matches were possible on Court One on Monday.

A statement from the All England Club declared a decision not to switch the match between Djokovic and Adrian Mannarino from third on Court One to Centre Court was taken on safety grounds.

Jelena Djokovic indicated that may not have gone down well in the Serbian second seed's camp.

She wrote on Twitter: "Hmmm. Change of plans again @Wimbledon?"

The tweet ended in a thinking face emoji, and came moments after she had written: "Central court. Stops at 11 in any case. #letsgo #nolefam"

She also retweeted a message from a journalist criticising Wimbledon's handling of the decision.

Djokovic had been limbering up for the match during the evening, indicating he believed there was a good chance of it being played.

Many fans had hoped the Djokovic-Mannarino match would be played under the Centre Court roof, and under lights, but instead it will go ahead on Tuesday at midday.

Centre Court had been free from 6.50pm when Roger Federer finished his victory over Grigor Dimitrov.

The All England Club said: "The safety and security of all visitors to the championships is of paramount importance. The preference was to play the Djokovic v Mannarino match as scheduled on No.1 Court.

When that was no longer an option, it was determined the match could not be moved to Centre Court due to the number of spectators remaining in the grounds.

"As late as 8.30pm, 30,000 people still remained in the grounds, and therefore moving the match would have created a significant safety issue.

"Both players were explained the rationale of postponing the match until tomorrow, which is now scheduled for a 12pm start on Centre Court."

The contest between Djokovic and Mannarino was the only last-16 singles match not to be played on Monday. The winner will go through to face Czech Tomas Berdych in the quarter-finals on Wednesday.

Press Association

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