‘Tennis finishing at 3am is unhealthy’

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Image caption: Novak Djokovic clinched his 369th win at a Grand Slam tournament, equalling Roger Federer’s all-time record, at 3:07am in Paris

Tennis matches finishing at 3am are “unhealthy” for players and should be stopped, says Coco Gauff.
Defending champion Novak Djokovic wrapped up a five-set victory against Lorenzo Musetti at 3:07am on Sunday at the French Open – by far the latest-ever finish at the clay-court Grand Slam.
It reopened the discussion around why matches are allowed to continue into the early hours and the impact on player welfare.

“I feel like a lot of times people think you’re done, but really at 3am [you’re] probably not going to bed until 5am at the earliest, maybe 6am or 7am,” said US Open women’s champion Gauff.
“I definitely think it’s not healthy.
“For the health and safety of the players, it would be in the sport’s best interest to try to avoid those matches finishing or starting after a certain time.”
In January, the ATP and WTA Tours jointly brought in a new rule which means no matches can start after 11pm.
However, the ruling has not been applied to the four majors, which make their own policies. Tour matches are also played over three sets, while men play best-of-five at the Grand Slams.
Iga Swiatek, the defending women’s champion, also called on the authorities to act.
“It’s not easy to play and it’s not like we’re going to fall asleep one hour after the match,” said the Polish world number one.
“[Change] is not up to us. We need to accept anything that is going to come to us.”
How did the late-night situation unfold?
The decision by the French Open to put Grigor Dimitrov’s unfinished match against Zizou Bergs on Court Philippe Chatrier before Djokovic and Musetti in the night session backfired.
That match, which was rained off on Friday, was moved to Chatrier when it looked like Alexander Zverev was going to wrap up a four-set victory against Tallon Griekspoor in the final match of the day session.
However, that went to five sets before Dimitrov, who restarted the match with a one-set advantage, needed four sets to beat Bergs.
It meant Djokovic and Italy’s Musetti, who should have started at 8:15pm local time, did not step on court until 10:37pm.
After sealing victory four-and-a-half hours later, Djokovic said he did not “want to get into” discussing the scheduling decision.
“I think some things could have been handled a different way but there’s also a beauty in winning a match [so late],” the 37-year-old Serb added.
“Physically, I really went to my limits to win this match.”
The French Open has been asked by BBC Sport for comment about the decision.
British doubles player Jamie Murray highlighted the knock-on effect of a late finish on a player’s recovery.
“You’re totally goosed the next day and then the day after that is a battle as well,” said Murray, whose brother Andy finished an Australian Open match last year at 4am.
“It won’t be easy for Novak to recover. It’s not like he’s 25 anymore.”
Djokovic, who plays Argentina’s Francisco Cerundolo in the fourth round on Monday, was not down on the practice schedule for Sunday.

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