Djokovic wants Open schedule change

Novak Djokovic has joined the push for tennis officials to tweak the Australian Open schedule for the sake of fairness and player welfare.

Five-time finalist Andy Murray is urging tournament director Craig Tiley to consider starting the night session earlier after crashing out of the Open on Saturday night after being forced to back up from his hellish 4.05am finish on Friday.

No player has ever won a singles match at the Open after winning a previous encounter that finished after 2am.

Murray needed five sets and almost six hours to get past Australian wildcard Thanasi Kokkinakis in the second round and says the scheduling needs changing.

"I'm sure if you went and spoke to some sleep experts and sports scientists etc, the people that actually really know what's important for athletes to recover, they would tell you that sleep is the number one thing. That that's the most important thing," the former world No.1 said after going out in four sets to Roberto Bautista Agut.

"Finishing matches at four in the morning isn't good for the players.

"I would also argue it's not good for the sport, anyone involved in it. I do think there's some quite simple things that can be done to change that."

Murray would like to see the Australian Open follow the US Open's lead of reducing the day session on the show courts to two matches instead of three.

"That would stop the day matches running into the night session starting too late. I think that's quite a simple one that you could look at," he said.

"You'd still get quality matches during the day. The people who bought ground passes would get to see more of the top players, which would be excellent for them.

"If you did that, you could also potentially bring the night sessions slightly earlier, as well, like 6:00 or 6:30.

"That time, those few hours, can make a difference to the players. That's something that's probably worth, yeah, considering moving forwards."

Djokovic thoroughly agrees.

The king of Melbourne Park believes two matches on the show courts during the day before the feature night matches begin at 6pm would be a huge improvement.

"For the crowd, it's entertaining, it's exciting, to have matches (at) midnight, 1, 2, 3am. For us, it's really gruelling," the nine-times Open champion said.

"Even if you go through and win, prevail in these kind of matches, you still have to come back. You have your sleeping cycle, rhythm disrupted completely, not enough time really to recover for another five-setter.

"Yeah, something needs to be addressed in terms of the schedule after what we've seen this year.

"Players' input is always important for tournament organisation. Whether it's decisive, we know that it's not because it comes down to what the TV broadcasters want to have. That's the ultimate decision maker."