Novak Djokovic backs rival for blasting 'disgraceful' drama

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·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
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World No.1 Novak Djokovic (pictured left) during a press conference and Alexander Zverev (pictured right) talking to the media.
World No.1 Novak Djokovic (pictured left) has defended Alexander Zverev (pictured right) over his comments regarding the scheduling of his final in Madrid. (Images: Getty Images/ATP)

World No.1 Novak Djokovic has come to the defence of Alexander Zverev after the German let rip at the ATP for its scheduling at the Madrid Open.

Zverev, the defending champion who also won in Madrid in 2018, had no answer to the depth and power of Carlos Alcaraz as the 19-year-old stormed to his second ATP Masters title of 2022.

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The German was full of praise for Alcaraz following the match and took his defeat graciously.

However, he was less than impressed with the scheduling of the final.

Zverev finished late in the morning following his quarter-final and semi-final matches, but was forced to back-up against Alcaraz in an afternoon final.

The teen sensation had been playing afternoon matches in the lead up to the final.

The German labelled the scheduling a 'disgrace' and claimed while it may not have changed the result, it certainly didn't help him.

"But one thing I have to say is that the ATP's job was an absolute disgrace this week. Two days ago I went to bed at 4am, 4:30am. Yesterday I went to bed at 5:20am," Zverev said.

“You know, if any normal person goes to bed one night at 4am, the next night at 5am, it will be a tough time just to be awake for them. And for me to play a final against Carlos Alcaraz, who for me is the best player in the world right now, in a Masters 1000 event, the next day, it is difficult."

Novak Djokovic defends Alexander Zverev over scheduling

Since the final, Djokovic addressed the issue in Rome, at the Italian Open.

The World No.1 admitted he agreed with Zverev and that he has often attempted to negotiate with tournaments over players backing up the next day.

"You cannot end your semi-final match at 1am and play the final the following day," Djokovic said after defeating Aslan Karatsev in Rome.

"I understand that they want to sell more tickets by scheduling a night session on Saturday, but it may cause problems.

Novak Djokovic (pictured) greets the crowd at the end of his second round match against Aslan Karatsev at the Internazionali BNL D'Italia tennis tournament.
Novak Djokovic (pictured) greets the crowd at the end of his second round match against Aslan Karatsev at the Internazionali BNL D'Italia tennis tournament. (Photo by Antonietta Baldassarre/Insidefoto/LightRocket via Getty Images)

"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."

Zverev will play Sebastian Baez in the Round of 32 in Rome.

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