Djokovic livid with floodlights

Serbia's Novak Djokovic was irritated with the floodlights at the Rod Laver Arena. Reuters

Top seed Novak Djokovic angrily blamed floodlights for dropping a set for the first time at this year's Australian Open after beating Denis Shapovalov 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 on Saturday.

The Serb is looking for a record seventh Aussie crown but was left fuming when leading 3-0 in the third set against the 25th-seeded Canadian when the powerful lights blazed on all around Rod Laver Arena -- in bright sunshine.

An irritated Djokovic lost his focus completely and dropped six of the next seven games after querying French umpire Damien Dumusois why the lights were on.

"I think there was no sense to turn on lights on court at 5:00 pm when we have another four hours of daylight," fumed the Serb 17-time Grand Slam winner.

"Did you guys see the balls well?," he asked the crowd.

"I saw them well too," he said to a huge cheer.

"Completely unnecessary to turn on the lights. The explanation I got was for TV reasons. I hope the viewers enjoyed it," he added.

The normally mild-mannered Djokovic even received a code violation for verbally jousting with someone in the crowd who shouted "Nervous?", as he faced three break points at 4-4, 0-40 in the third set.

Up till his mini-meltdown, Djokovic had made his outing on centre court look like an afternoon practice session for two-and-a-half sets against Shapovalov, one of the NextGen stars tipped to take over from the sport's old guard

He skilfully dominated the 19-year-old, who could not find enough winners to throw the 14-time Grand Slam winner off his stride until a TV director's decision gave him a helping hand.

 

 

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Djokovic livid with floodlights

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