Novak Djokovic - Wimbledon 2023

Novak Djokovic believes Wimbledon start time needs ‘to change’

Novak Djokovic has given his verdict on the Wimbledon Centre Court start time, after his fourth round match against Hubert Hurkacz had to be played over two days due to the curfew.

Djokovic beat Hurkacz, 7-6(6) 7-6(6) 5-7 6-4, to move into his 14th Wimbledon quarter-final and continue his incredible Grand Slam tie-break record this year.

The Serb was 6-3 down in the first set tie-break, saving three set points before winning it 8-6.

Due to the curfew time of 11pm at SW19, the match was suspended on Sunday with Djokovic two sets up and had to come out yesterday to complete the contest.

While Djokovic was understanding of the curfew, he did suggest that Wimbledon should ‘push’ the Centre Court start time earlier than 1:30pm to ensure all matches are completed.

“Obviously curfew is probably something that is much more difficult to change, I understand, because of the community and the residential area we are in,” said Djokovic. “I think the matches could be pushed at least to start at 12:00. I think it would make a difference.”

He added, “I think there are different ways that I’m sure they will address this issue and try to, yeah, avoid having these kind of problems in the future.”

The 23-time Grand Slam champion also spoke about how the conditions differed from Sunday evening to Monday afternoon, with Hurkacz’s serve making him feeling ‘helpless’.

“Kind of two different matches: last night and today. Completely different conditions,” claimed Djokovic. “Playing under the roof more humid, more slippery. Obviously no wind. A bit easier for the rhythm for the serve. At the same time a bit slower from the back of the court, more rallies.”

The 36-year-old continued, “Today, completely different. Very, very windy. Difficult to get the rhythm and tempo on the toss. It didn’t seem to affect him much.

“I thought maybe that could be my chance to start reading his serve a bit better. That wasn’t the case. He was serving incredibly well. I don’t recall being so helpless on the return games, to be honest. I knew that he’s a big server and he’s a fantastic player on the grass particularly, but I didn’t expect him to serve this well and this accurate. Credit to him.”

Djokovic will now move onto his quarter-final later today against Andrey Rublev, who is still yet to win a Grand Slam quarter-final match in his 7 previous attempts.

Novak Djokovic and his dominance at Wimbledon

Djokovic is bidding to make more history at Wimbledon this year and equal Roger Federer’s eight Wimbledon titles, so we at Tennishead wanted to look back on his dominance at SW19 over the years:

Novak Djokovic win-loss record at Wimbledon: 90-10 (90%)

The Serb’s seven final victories:

  1. Djokovic beat Rafael Nadal, 6-4 6-1 1-6 6-3 (2011)
  2. Djokovic beat Roger Federer, 6(7)-7 6-4 7-6(4) 5-7 6-4 (2014)
  3. Djokovic beat Roger Federer, 7-6(1) 6(10)-7 6-4 6-3 (2015)
  4. Djokovic beat Kevin Anderson, 6-2 6-2 7-6(3) (2018)
  5. Djokovic beat Roger Federer, 7-6(5) 1-6 7-6(4) 4-6 13-12(3) (2019)
  6. Djokovic beat Matteo Berrettini, 6(4)-7 6-4 6-4 6-3 (2021)
  7. Djokovic beat Nick Kyrgios, 4-6 6-3 6-4 7-6(3) (2022)

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.