Australian Open organisers have again banished 10-time champion Novak Djokovic from the Rod Laver Arena night session.
Djokovic’s quarter-final match against 12th seed Taylor Fritz has been scheduled for the second match at Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday.
While they have said the match won’t start before 2.30pm AEDT, it’s likely to be even later given it comes after the women’s quarter-final between Coco Gauff and Marta Kostyuk.
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Temperatures are expected to reach 30 degrees during the day on Tuesday.
Organisers have instead given women’s defending champion and second seed Aryna Sabalenka the primetime slot for her match against ninth seed Barbora Krejcikova.
Following that match is the men’s quarter-final between fourth seed Jannik Sinner and fifth seed Andrey Rublev, who ended Alex de Minaur’s run with a gutsy five-set victory on Sunday night.
Novak Djokovic will play during the day again. Credit: AAP
But Djokovic has again been shunted from the night session in a surprise move.
Djokovic won his fourth-round match against Adrian Mannarino during the day after de Minaur was given primetime billing on Sunday night.
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The 10-time champion hadn’t played during the day since 2021, which was 15 matches in a row at night.
After subjecting Mannarino to a humiliating 6-0 6-0 6-3 defeat, Djokovic seemed almost offended at being consigned to his first daytime appearance at the Open in three years.
“It’s no secret I love to play at 7pm,” he said after a one-hour, 44-minute cameo.
“But it wasn’t bad at all today. The way I played today, I don’t mind playing in the day.”
The 10-time Open champion will carry an 8-0 winning record into his latest clash with the 12th-seeded Fritz.
He has also said he has intention of calling it quits anytime soon even as he closes in on Margaret Court’s all-time grand slam haul.
Already the men’s record holder in majors, Djokovic will break Court’s magic mark of 24 that has stood since 1973 if he wins an 11th Australian Open on Sunday.
Djokovic insists winning an unprecedented 25th slam would not be enough.
“I really love competing. I’m very passionate about it,” the top seed said ahead of his record-equalling 58th grand slam quarter-final.
“I bring in a lot of energy, a lot of enthusiasm in the practice weeks trying to build my form to be ready to compete with the best tennis players in the world.
“Being separated from the family hurts me more and more. That’s the part that I struggle with more now.
“So, yeah, I try to balance things out with working with my schedule in such way and calendar that is suitable to me.
“I think I earned my right to choose what kind of tournaments I want to play. Of course, grand slams being the biggest ones, the pillars, are the priority on the schedule list.
“So while being No.1 and still on top of the game, I don’t feel like leaving tennis in that position. I feel like I want to keep on going.”
– With AAP