Tennis

French Open 2024: Coco Gauff Warns Tennis Over Late Finishes After Novak Djokovic Thriller

Djokovic edged a five-set thriller with Lorenzo Musetti, battling into the early hours of Sunday in Paris at Roland-Garros

Novak Djokovic finished past 3 am on Sunday in Paris
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Coco Gauff warned tennis must do more to protect player welfare after Novak Djokovic's remarkable late finish at the French Open on Saturday. (More Tennis News)

Djokovic edged a five-set thriller with Lorenzo Musetti, battling into the early hours of Sunday in Paris at Roland-Garros.

The third-round marathon finished at 3:08 a.m. local time in the French capital, shattering the tournament's previous latest finish of 1:25 a.m.

After overcoming Elisabetta Cocciaretto to reach the quarter-finals, Gauff lamented the late start times and the problems it could cause for both men and women's players.

"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.," said 2023 US Open women's champion Gauff.

"I definitely think it's not healthy.

"For the health and safety of the players, it would be in the sport's best interest to try to avoid those matches finishing or starting after a certain time."

The ATP and WTA tours brought a new ruling in January that matches cannot start after 11 pm local time.

That legislation does not apply to the four majors, though, and hits harder for the men playing best-of-five encounters.

World number one Iga Swiatek, who overcame Anastasia Potapova on Sunday, echoed Gauff's sentiment.

"It's not easy to play and it's not like we're going to fall asleep one hour after the match," said Swiatek.

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

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