Djokovic hits out at US Open Monday finish

New York: World number one Novak Djokovic criticised the decision to stage the US Open final on Monday for a fourth successive year, claiming it will impact next weekend`s Davis Cup programme.

If top seed Djokovic reaches the title match for a second straight year, he will then dash to Belgrade to play for defending champions Serbia in their Davis Cup semifinal against Argentina starting on Friday.

After a week where two days were washed out and with the likes of champion Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray, in the opposite side of the draw to Djokovic, facing playing on four successive days, it was decided to extend the schedule.

"I`m not really happy about that, to be honest. I`m not, because there is always Davis Cup the weekend after," said Djokovic after reaching the semifinals with a four-set win over compatriot Janko Tipsarevic on Thursday

"Last year I played finals and finished very late on Monday. Took off Tuesday, arrived Wednesday, and had to play on Friday already, Saturday. How that is possible? It`s just too much."

Djokovic, who will have Friday off and also Sunday should he make the final, admitted that he did have a slight advantage over rivals like Nadal and Murray who will play their last-eight matches on Friday.

"For the top half it has to be an advantage because we finished our fourth round a couple days ago, and then today I finished my quarter-final and I have a day off until my semi, where the other guys have to play day after day," he said.

"That`s the way it is. You can`t fight it. You can`t complain. It`s Mother Nature that doesn`t allow us."

Earlier Thursday, the US Tennis Association released a revised schedule for the remainder of the tournament.

The men`s final is now scheduled to start at 4pm (2000 GMT) on Monday, with the women`s final pushed back from Saturday to Sunday.

Players in the bottom half of the men`s draw, led by defending champion and second seed Nadal, had complained bitterly after their fourth-round matches were postponed from Tuesday to Thursday.

They claimed they faced a huge disadvantage in having to potentially play four best-of-five-set matches in four days to lift the trophy.

The two quarterfinals from the other side of the draw were being played on Thursday. The men`s quarterfinals will now be completed on Friday and the semifinals played as usual on Saturday.

The women will play their semifinals on Saturday night, which would have been the slot for their final.

Bureau Report

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