Novak Djokovic claims that the new policy to allow spectators in and out of the Rod Laver Arena between games has ‘messed up’ his rhythm at the Australian Open.
Djokovic struggled against Dino Prizmic on Sunday, taking more than four hours to dispatch the 18-year-old.
He also complained to the chair umpire about the length of time it was taking for fans to settle before he or Prizmic could begin the point.
“All my career, all my life I’ve been used to some kind of atmosphere,” Djokovic explained. “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.”