Novak gives Wimbledon officials a serve
TENNIS: Novak Djokovic has grumpily blasted Wimbledon officials after dispatching unpredictable Adrian Mannarino to reach his 39th grand slam quarter-final.
The triple All England Club champion was too accomplished for Mannarino in a 6-2 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 result but, ominously, he struggled with soreness in his right arm and shoulder.
The second seed also complained of a headache.
And he was clearly peeved with the decision not to use a vacant centre court on Monday night as officials dithered while Gilles Muller and Rafael Nadal warred for almost five hours on court 1.
That meant Djokovic and Mannarino were forced to play Tuesday - more than 18 hours after some of their rivals had reached the last eight.
"I just think it was a wrong decision not to play us last night, because we could have played," Djokovic said.
"I think the last match on the centre court was done before 7pm. Having in mind that centre court has the roof and lights, we could have played till 11(pm).
"We went to the referee's office before 8(pm). There was security reasons.
"That was the only excuse, that basically there were explanations that we were getting.
"I just didn't see any logic in not playing us on the centre court.
"I obviously was not happy not to play last night. I though we could have played. Referee's office was completely indecisive."
Backing a call for the introduction of fifth-set tiebreaks at Wimbledon to avoid schedule-disrupting marathons, Djokovic was also upset with the state of centre court.
"Many players, I'm not the only one, have been complaining a little bit about this condition of the court," the Serb said after alerting officials to a hole along the baseline.
"But the end of the day it is what it is. You have to accept it. You have to deal with it. It's the same for both players.
"The fact is that the court is not in a great condition.
"The chair umpire in the end of the match asked me about the hole, because midway through the match I mentioned there is a hole. He wanted me to show him, so I showed him. His reaction wasn't that great."
Troubled by shoulder soreness ahead of tonight's clash with Tomas Berdych, Djokovic was still too formidable for Mannarino with 36 winners to 23 and 24 unforced errors to the Frenchman's 26.
Asked about his injury, Djokovic said: "We'll see. It's been something I've been dragging for a while now."
Djokovic will carry a 25-2 win-loss record into battle against Berdych.
Tonight's men's quarter-final line-up:-
1-Andy Murray (GBR) v 24-Sam Querrey (US)
16-Gilles Muller (Lux) v 7-Marin Cilic (Cro)
6-Milos Raonic (Can) v 3-Roger Federer (Sui)
2-Novak Djokovic (Srb) v 11-Tomas Berdych (Cze)