Novak Djokovic wants first-round retirement problems to be addressed

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Novak Djokovic wants first-round retirement problems to be addressed

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SportsCafe Desk


Novak Djokovic has advocated amending the rule that allows full payment to players who make it to the Grand Slams even if they withdraw in the very first round. John McEnroe seconded the idea stating that players who are not giving or cannot give their 100% in the opening rounds should be penalized.

Djokovic started his Wimbledon campaign against Slovakian Martin Klizan in his first round match at Wimbledon but the latter could only last 40 minutes before he retired down a set and break with the scoreboard reading 6-3 2-0 in the Serb's favor. 

Earlier this year, the ATP introduced a new rule that allows players to retire before a first-round match and still retain the $44,00 prize money. A "lucky loser" then replaces him, gets his money earned during the qualifying campaign and any further prize money if he is able to advance to the latter stages of the competition second round.

"Maybe it should be addressed", Djokovic said when asked about his short match against Klizan, reported Tennis World USA. "I think the new rule that the ATP has reinforced allows players who deserve already, who have made it to the Grand Slam main draw, to get what they deserve, but at the other hand allow someone else to play if they can."

Djokovic wasn't the only one who came out supporting an amendment. John McEnroe, who has been in the news recently due to his comments about Serena Williams, implied that retirements do more harm than good for the sport.

"I support that kind of rule. There's got to be a rule for guys who come out clearly not giving or able to give 100 percent. It's no good for anyone", McEnroe was quoted saying by the BBC.

Djokovic wasn't the only major player to "suffer" from a quick round one match. Roger Federer, too, booked a place in the second round in quick time after his opponent Alexandr Dolgopolov retired with the score at 6-3, 3-0. Djokovic joked after the game that maybe he could play a practice set with the Swiss legend to get back his match sharpness.

"There are guys waiting in there, the lucky loser will be looking ... and thinking he could have played on Centre Court at Wimbledon," Djokovic added.

"In the locker room, we joked with Federer and said: 'We may go out there to play a practice set,'" he said. 

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