Tennis players give opinions on wild 3 am finish for Novak Djokovic at French Open: 'It's not healthy'

Marathon tennis matches have been seen throughout history, but the latest finish by French Open defending champion Novak Djokovic has led many to question why a match is allowed to go until 3 a.m. 

The exact finishing time for Djokovic was 3:07 a.m. after five sets against Lorenzo Musetti, and as you’d expect, he was absolutely drained. It was the latest finish in the Grand Slam’s history, but it’s a side of history U.S. Open champion Coco Gauff doesn’t think any tennis player should be on. 

“I feel like a lot of times people think you’re done, but really at 3 a.m. [you’re] probably not going to bed until 5 a.m. at the earliest, maybe 6 a.m. or 7 a.m.,” Gauff said, via Yahoo Sports. 

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“I definitely think it’s not healthy,” Gauff continued. 

“It’s not easy to play and it’s not like we’re going to fall asleep one hour after the match,” the top women’s player in the world, Iga Swiatek, added to the conversation. 

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“[Change] is not up to us. We need to accept anything that is going to come to us.”

Now, the ATP and WTA Tours instituted a new rule earlier this year that states no matches can start after 11 p.m. However, the four Grand Slams – French Open, Australian Open, Wimbledon, and U.S. Open – do not have that rule in their tournaments. Furthermore, men play five sets in Grand Slams, whereas the ATP Tour finishes in best-of-three sets. 

So, the French Open saw the decision to put the match between Grigor Dimitrov and Zizou Bergs on the main court, Court Philippe Chatrier, go astray when Alexander Zverev’s and Tallon Griekspoor’s match needed five sets to finish. 

Dimitrov and Bergs were rained out on Friday, where the former had a one-set advantage when they finally started playing again. In turn, Djokovic’s match, intended to start at 8:15 p.m. local time, didn’t do so until 10:37 p.m. 

Then, with five sets to play, it just went way too long. 

“I think some things could have been handled a different way,” Djokovic said after the match, prefacing his comment by saying he didn’t want to get into the scheduling discussion, “but there’s also a beauty in winning a match [so late].”

Djokovic, 37, said his limits were certainly tested in the match. But it’s hard to recover from such a feat. 

But he’ll have to do so before facing Francisco Cerundolo, the No. 23 player in the world, in the fourth round on Monday in Paris to keep his chances at repeating alive. 

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