Updated: Tuesday, 01 July 2014 06:18 | By Agence France-Presse

Djokovic demands Wimbledon drop Sunday no-play rule

Top seed Novak Djokovic demanded on Monday that Wimbledon ditches its long-standing tradition of not playing on the middle Sunday after torrential rain brought more havoc to the schedule.


Djokovic demands Wimbledon drop Sunday no-play rule

Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates winning his men's singles fourth round match against France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on day seven of the 2014 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on June 30, 2014 - by Carl Court

The world number two believes the All England Club should follow the other three Grand Slam tournaments -- the Australian, French and US Opens -- in playing on the Sunday to avoid a backlog of matches.

Ironically, Djokovic is one of the few men to have benefitted from the heavy rain which fell Saturday and Monday as he had already played his third round match on Friday and wrapped up his last-16 clash against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga under the Centre Court roof on Monday.

He will now have another day's rest before a Wednesday quarter-final with Croatia's Marin Cilic.

In contrast, fifth seed and Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka played his third round match Monday, faces a fourth round tie on Tuesday before a potential quarter-final on Wednesday.

If Wawrinka, who blasted the scheduling as "unfair" and "disappointing", is to win the title, he will have to play five times in seven days.

"We have this tradition here of the middle Sunday when no matches are played. This tradition was broken a couple of times, and I remember a few years ago it was the case when they actually had to play a few matches," said Djokovic.

"So I think, we have to rethink about this Sunday in between, because the day was beautiful. It was no rain, and the whole day there was no match played. No other Grand Slam has this particular rule.

"We all know that tradition is something that is nurtured here at the All England Club, and we respect that. But there are some rules that I believe should be updated, changed, you know, for the better of the schedule and for the better of the players."

Play on the middle Sunday at Wimbledon has only taken place three times in history -- the most recent year was 2004.

Usually all last-16 matches in the men's and women's singles are completed on the second Monday leaving Tuesday free for women's quarter-finals and Wednesday for the men's last-eight.

But this year, seven last-16 ties -- four men and three women -- will have to take place on Tuesday.

Wawrinka defeated Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin 6-3, 6-3, 6-4, in a match held over from Saturday, to reach the fourth round for the first time since 2009 and will play Feliciano Lopez of Spain on Tuesday.

"I was disappointed. I was expecting them to move matches (on Saturday), move maybe juniors or doubles, to make my match or Isner/Lopez's match first on when they started at 5:00pm or 6:00pm again when it stopped raining," said Wawrinka.

"But you cannot do anything. They do what they want and you just follow. They don't listen to the players. They just do what they think is good for them."

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