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Novak Djokovic lets rip at players box amid sweltering Australian Open conditions

The World No.1 had his 15 match streak of night sessions ended in the quarter-final.

Novak Djokovic gets angry at his players box.
Novak Djokovic (pictured) was not thrilled with his players box during his quarter-final clash against Taylor Fritz. (Images: Getty Images/Eurosport)

Novak Djokovic has let rip at his players box before showing his champion mentality to somehow win the first set against opponent Taylor Fritz in the sweltering conditions at the Australian Open. Djokovic and Fritz took to the court for their quarter-final tennis clash more than an hour after they were scheduled to enter Rod Laver Arena as the heat pushed 30C on Tuesday at Melbourne Park.

And it didn't take long for Djokovic to feel the heat out on court with the ice pack wrapped around his head after he wasn't able to convert a number of break points against his American opponent. And the heat and scoreline was clearly getting to the World No.1 after he appeared to lose it at his players box when he couldn't find an item in his bag.

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Djokovic couldn't find something in his bag during the change over, but his players box was also not looking at him. He then resorted to yelling towards his box in frustration to get their attention.

Lleyton Hewitt pointed out in the second set that something was bothering the 10-time Australian Open champion. "He doesn't look comfortable at the moment," Hewitt said on Channel Nine commentary.

Incredibly, Djokovic emerged at 5-6 to save two set points and win the set in a tiebreak against a frustrated Fritz. The first set was the longest of Djokovic's grand slam so far having gone for 84 minutes. Fans pointed out Djokovic was clearly struggling in the heat, but he showed his champion mentality to produced some of the best tennis in the match to take the opening set.

Novak Djokovic wipes his face.
Novak Djokovic (pictured) played his quarter-final clash in sweltering heat. (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images) (WILLIAM WEST via Getty Images)

Djokovic was broken early in the second set and the 'agitated' 23-time grand slam champion then asked the chair umpire to turn the lights down. The grandstand lights at Rod Laver Arena had been turned on as the local time passed 6.30pm. The 36-year-old was clearly bothered and told the chair umpire the lights were too strong.

He ended up losing the second set but regrouped, showing why he is a 10-time Australian Open champion. Fritz had no answer for Djokovic's blistering forehand in the third and fourth set as the Serb went on to win 7-6 (7-3) 4-6 6-2 6-3.

Australian Open scheduling drama

Unfortunately for the Australian Open, the night session was set to start well off the scheduled time with Coco Gauff and Marta Kostyuk playing out a three-set clash right into the evening. Djokovic and Fritz took to the court more than an hour after their scheduled time.

The second set wasn't even finished when the following match on Rod Laver Arena was expected to start. The final match of the evening was between Jannik Sinner and Andrey Rublev and supporters joked the pair wouldn't even feature before 11pm.

Novak Djokovic moved to day time quarter-final

Djokovic is accustomed to playing his matches during the prime time night slot on Rod Laver Arena at the Australian Open. However, the Serbian had his fourth round clash moved to the afternoon slot. And for the second straight match he took to the court against Fritz in the afternoon sun.

"It's no secret I love to play at 7pm," he said after his 15 straight night matches in Melbourne came to an end against Adrian Mannarino. He reportedly sort a change to move back to the night session, but his call wasn't approved from tournament director Craig Tiley.

Organisers have instead opted to give top billing on Tuesday night to Italian fourth seed Jannik Sinner and Rublev, who will be trying to avoid a 10th consecutive grand slam quarter-final defeat.

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