- Djokovic not happy with new rule at Australian Open
- Fans are now allowed to move around between games
- Serb superstar revealed he has been feeling unwell
World No.1 Novak Djokovic has blown up at fans and organisers after a incident with rowdy fans during his first-round Australian Open match against teenage rival Dino Prizmic.
Djokovic’s opening round match was played over a gruelling four hours and one minute as the Croatian wildcard won the second set 7-6 and pushed the Serb all the way before succumbing to a four-set defeat.
The Serb superstar screamed at fans to ‘shut the f*** up’ at one point during the second set and gave a serve to Open organisers about a new rule allowing fans to move around the stadium in between games, rather than the traditional change of ends.
Djokovic said he wasn’t aware of the new rule and said it had a negative impact on his match and not the positive one tournament organisers were hoping for.
‘I did not know about that new policy or new rule,’ he said.
Djokovic was made to work hard for his victory over teenage rival Dino Prizmic – and wasn’t happy about a rule change that saw him get distracted by rowdy fans
‘Look, I mean, I understand the motive behind it is to enhance and improve the experience for fans, right? We do play for fans. We want fans to have a great, thrilling experience of being out on the court.
‘It’s hard, I must say. I understand that and I support it to some extent, but at the same time all my career, all my life I’ve been used to some kind of atmosphere. When that changes, it kind of messes up, distracts you a bit.
‘Today we lost quite a bit of time when they were letting people in to come to their seats, even though it was not a changeover. My opponent would wait for them to sit down. It dragged a lot.
‘I don’t know if it’s really the best rule, but I do understand from a tournament and fan perspective it’s probably better because they don’t want to wait. They want to come out and enjoy every single point.
‘I’m kind of divided between the two in a way.’
Djokovic also revealed he was still not feeling 100 per cent after the win, having coming in to the tournament feeling unwell.
‘Yeah, I am a bit under the weather last, yeah, four, five days. You can probably judge by my voice,’ he said after the victory.
‘Look, it is what it is. You just have to try to deal with it and get over it and accept the circumstances and try to make the most of it.
The Serb champ gave a serve to Australia Open organisers about a new rule allowing fans to move around the stadium in between games
Djokovic also revealed that he has come into the tournament feeling unwell – and still isn’t back to full health
‘I will discuss with my team tomorrow, see if I maybe skip practice tomorrow, tennis practice. Maybe do some light work, gym, jog, some specific exercises just to keep my body in shape.
‘I mean, last year I haven’t practiced in between any match really. It was different circumstances because I was injured. I think now with two days, it’s quite useful after playing four-hour opening round.’