Djokovic Proposes Earlier Wimbledon Start Times; Hurdles Remain

by Ryan Lee
Wimbledon match scheduling

Novak Djokovic has voiced his frustration over Wimbledon’s Centre Court schedule, which often sees him stepping onto the grass around 9 p.m. The late starting times often result in rush to finish before the local 11 p.m. curfew, causing potential interruptions in the middle of matches which have to be resumed the following day.

Following his 32nd consecutive victory at Wimbledon, a 7-6 (6), 7-6 (6), 5-7, 6-4 win over Hubert Hurkacz, Djokovic proposed that matches on the All England Club’s main stadium start before 1:30 p.m., potentially as early as noon. He believes this would alleviate the issues of delayed play and incomplete matches.

Djokovic, who is aiming for his fifth consecutive Wimbledon title and his 24th Grand Slam victory, expressed confidence that Wimbledon officials would address the issue and take steps to prevent similar scheduling issues in the future. His shoes, notably bearing the number “23”, signal his current tally of major trophies.

However, the feasibility of Djokovic’s proposal remains questionable. Sally Bolton, the club’s chief executive, insisted that the current timing aligns with viewer accessibility, and the viewership numbers, surpassing both expectations and previous years, speak for themselves.

Matches on smaller courts start at 11 a.m., followed by No. 1 Court at 1 p.m., with Centre Court matches commencing last due to its location in a residential area. Local regulations forbid matches from continuing past 11 p.m., often resulting in games being postponed until the following day if a set ends around 10:30 p.m.

This scheduling conflict extended Andy Murray’s second-round loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas to a second day. Djokovic’s third-round match and his game against Hurkacz also faced similar issues. He managed to finish his game against Stan Wawrinka at 10:46 p.m., but the Djokovic-Hurkacz match was paused at 10:35 p.m.

According to Djokovic, the late start times pose a dilemma between returning to his accommodation or staying at the club. He recounted his experience of waiting for approximately seven hours for his match to begin.

Djokovic’s performance against the 17th-seeded Hurkacz, who is well-known for defeating Roger Federer at Wimbledon in 2021, was not entirely flawless. Despite some rocky moments, Djokovic eventually triumphed.

In other news, men’s quarterfinals will see No. 3 Daniil Medvedev against unseeded Chris Eubanks and No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz versus No. 6 Holger Rune. The women’s quarterfinals will feature No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka against No. 25 Madison Keys, and No. 3 Elena Rybakina against No. 6 Ons Jabeur. Rybakina is the defending champion, having defeated Jabeur in the previous year’s final.

Despite her defeat last year, Jabeur remains optimistic about the future, stating, “I’m someone that believes that it wasn’t meant to be, so I cannot force it more than it should be… Maybe greater things are coming after that final.”

More information about the tournament can be found at https://bigbignews.net/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Wimbledon match scheduling

Why is Novak Djokovic proposing an earlier start time for Wimbledon matches?

Novak Djokovic has voiced frustration over late match starts at Wimbledon’s Centre Court, often close to 9 p.m. These late start times often lead to matches being rushed in order to finish before the local curfew at 11 p.m., sometimes resulting in games being postponed until the next day.

What is the current schedule for matches at Wimbledon?

Currently, matches on smaller courts start at 11 a.m., followed by No. 1 Court at 1 p.m., with Centre Court matches commencing last. This is due to its location in a residential area, and local regulations forbid matches from continuing past 11 p.m.

What is the club’s response to Djokovic’s suggestion?

Sally Bolton, the chief executive of the All England Club, has stated that current match timings align with viewer accessibility. She further added that the viewership numbers have surpassed both expectations and previous years’ figures, suggesting that the current schedule should remain as is.

Who will Djokovic face next in the tournament?

Following his victory over Hubert Hurkacz, Djokovic will face No. 7 Andrey Rublev for a place in the Wimbledon semifinals.

Who won the women’s final at the previous Wimbledon?

Elena Rybakina is the defending champion in the women’s singles, having defeated Ons Jabeur in last year’s final.

More about Wimbledon match scheduling

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AceInYourFace July 11, 2023 - 7:59 am

Late starts or not, Novak’s just killin it. Rublev’s got his work cut out for him in the semis!

Andy96 July 11, 2023 - 1:13 pm

Honestly, i get where Djokovic’s comin from… Having matches start so late must be a real drag.

TennisFan101 July 11, 2023 - 8:10 pm

what’s up with Novak’s shoes tho? I mean we get it, 23 Grand Slam titles. Pretty sick!

MatchPoint July 12, 2023 - 4:15 am

So if they don’t change the times, what happens next? Djokovic gonna boycott Wimbledon or what?

GreenGrassHopper July 12, 2023 - 4:38 am

scheduling these matches aint easy, lots of factors involved. TV viewership is a big one, so doubt things will change.


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