Roger Federer defends event organisers following player backlash
- Author: Julie Sanders Jan 19, 2018,
Jan 19, 2018, 12:34
Serbian star Novak Djokovic on Thursday continued to dominate Frenchman Gael Monfils, defeating him for the 12th time in his career, in the second round of the Australian Open. It's the beginning of the season. But I used my experience of, you know, being in these particular circumstances so many times in my life that, you know, enabled me to kind of keep my focus and start off well with the right intensity.
"I saw that you've portrayed me as someone who is very greedy, asks for more money and wants to boycott", Djokovic told a news conference following his first-round win over Donald Young on Tuesday.
Djokovic lost in the second round here a year ago, but won five of the previous six Australian Open titles.
"It was obvious we both suffered on the court today", Djokovic said.
But Djokovic, who is coming back from a six-month elbow injury layoff, held on to claim a scrappy victory in which he made 40 unforced errors and sent down 11 double-faults. "I have a lot of faith and belief in what I am capable of".
Fellow former world number one Kerber, who won the tournament in 2016, was also impressive in dismissing Anna-Lena Friedsam 6-0, 6-4.
Djokovic said the conditions were some of the toughest he's ever played in, and had some advice for organizers with temperatures predicted to rise to 42 degrees C (108 degrees F) on Day 5.
"It was tough conditions, brutal, especially the first 90 minutes", he said. "You're always constantly, week after week, being part of that dynamic of our sport, which at times seems a bit too much". "I got super-dizzy", Monfils added. "I think I had a small heat stroke for 40 minutes".
"I trained this winter in Miami". It's still very early in the season obvsiouly, but it may be safe to say that Kerber is back to being a threat in big tournaments. Really tough conditions brutal..
Sure enough, world No. 88 Hsieh Su-wei of Taiwan defeated Muguruza 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 and twice grand slam semifinalist Konta - downed by Hsieh at the French Open last May - succumbed to lucky loser Bernarda Pera 6-4 7-5.
"I got super dizzy", said Monfils, who fell to his 15th straight defeat by the 12-time grand slam victor.
I could have done things better, she said, but at the end, she deserves to win.. "My feet are burning".
"I knew I had to get a good start and I'm happy to get through on a day like this", she said after the 1hr 20min match.
The extreme heat policy that would see play cancelled is brought into effect at the Referee's discretion when the temperature reaches 40C away from the heat of a court surface and the wet bulb globe temperature (which takes into account humidity) exceeds 32.5C.
Australian Open organisers have defended the decision not to stop play for extreme temperatures during the tournament after player criticism. "They're under significant heat stress now and the officials really need to be able to make these calls quickly and with full autonomy".
With the thermometer peaking at a stifling 40 degrees Celsius (104 F), the 20-year-old fourth seed was grateful for the relative cool of the evening and looked set for an early night as he raced through the opening two sets under the lights at Hisense Arena.