Sports

Novak Djokovic denies fronting a money grab after leading a players meeting

Novak Djokovic denies fronting a money grab after leading a players meeting

"There is a limit and that is a level of, I guess, tolerance between being fit and being, I think, in danger in terms of health", six time Australian Open victor Novak Djokovic said after his grueling 4-set match yesterday. "It was about just hanging in there", he said.

It was a day for cold water at Melbourne Park, but if ATP or Grand Slam officials had hoped that Federer, the elder statesman, would throw plenty of it on Djokovic's activism, they will be disappointed. Even after taking the opening set, it was like the Frenchman never had a chance.

"It was obvious that he was not at his best". "It was a big challenge for both of us to be on the court, to be able to finish the match".

"We also have some big events there that they are doing very well. That's what happens when we play each other".

"It was tough with the tough condition", Monfils said.

"It was great for me to actually get into those long exchanges and rallies, to get some rhythm on the court after the Gael Monfils match, which was really up and down".

"It's been a couple of years since I've been back here - obviously I wanted to enjoy the moment", said after closing her win over with an ace, then blowing kisses to the crowd. Unseeded Monfils needed a medical timeout for heat stress and said he had trouble breathing. I like to, sometimes, play in heat.

"It was some harm, you know".

Absent from the court since the season-ending championship in November, he started the year with a disappointing Hopman Cup campaign but said he was starting to find his groove. "I'm just trying to play 100% and that was the key today". "Couldn't feel fresh. I try to cool down. There are a lot of elderly people who like to watch the tennis, there are kids, there are people who heave health issues".

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It's supposed to be even hotter on Friday, with a forecast high of 42 Celsius (108 Fahrenheit).

The heat took its toll on a host of players, including Wimbledon champion Muguruza, who suffered with heat-blistered feet. A formula which takes into account both heat and humidity is used.

Russia's Sharapova was on Rod Laver Arena early and avoided the brunt of the weather as she showed why she should be taken seriously in dismantling Sevastova 6-1 7-6 (7/4). The defending champion, who had requested an evening match, beat Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4, 6-4, 7-6.

The reigning Australia Open victor swept aside Struff 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 in their last-64 clash.

Wawrinka was suspected to have a knee injury going into the tournament and clutched it throughout the contest.

In the evening, Alexander Zverev rolled past countryman Pete Gojowczyk.

The 193-centimetre tall baseliner was gasping for air between points and approached the chair umpire midway through the second set to warn that he was on the verge of collapsing.

Juan Martin del Potro also seemed to struggle in the conditions but beat Russia's Karen Khachanov 6-4, 7-6, 6-7, 6-4 after a gruelling contest that lasted three hours and 45 minutes.


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