Australian Open; Novak Djokovic still recovering from illness in Melbourne

Australian Open favourite Novak Djokovic concedes he may have to put down his racquet for a day ahead of his second round clash after continuing to feel “under the weather” after a barnstorming start to his quest for an 11th title.

The world No.1 also gave a serve to Open organisers about a new rule allowing fans to move around the stadium in between games, rather the traditional change of ends.

Djokovic dropped a set in Sunday’s opening four-set win over 18-year-old Croatian qualifier Dino Prizmic and revealed he was still not feeling 100 per cent having coming in to the tournament feeling unwell.

He said not practicing between matches was nothing new and he could find himself doing other work ahead of his second round clash, which could potentially be with Aussie Alexei Popyrin.

“Yeah, I am a bit under the weather last, yeah, four, five days. You can probably judge by my voice,” he said after his win.

“Look, it is what it is. You just have to try to deal with it and get over it and accept the circumstances and try to make the most of it.

“I will discuss with my team tomorrow, see if I maybe skip practice tomorrow, tennis practice. Maybe do some light work, gym, jog, some specific exercises just to keep my body in shape.

“I mean, last year I haven’t practiced in between any match really. It was different circumstances because I was injured. I think now with two days, it’s quite useful after playing four-hour opening round.

“Let’s see how I wake up tomorrow and then we’ll play it by ear.”

Djokovic said he wasn’t aware of the new rule which allowed for more fan movement and said it had a negative impact on his match and not the positive one tournament organisers were hoping for

“I did not know about that new policy or new rule,” he said

“Look, I mean, I understand the motive behind it is to enhance and improve the experience for fans, right? We do play for fans. We want fans to have a great, thrilling experience of being out on the court.

“It’s hard, I must say. I understand that and I support it to some extent, but at the same time all my career, all my life I’ve been used to some kind of atmosphere. When that changes, it kind of messes up, distracts you a bit.

“Today we lost quite a bit of time when they were letting people in to come to their seats, even though it was not a changeover. My opponent would wait for them to sit down. It dragged a lot.

“I don’t know if it’s really the best rule, but I do understand from a tournament and fan perspective it’s probably better because they don’t want to wait. They want to come out and enjoy every single point.

“I’m kind of divided between the two in a way.”

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