Novak Djokovic says the Australian Open courts this year are the fastest he has ever known, likening it to playing on ice.
Djokovic was given a serious test by American Frances Tiafoe but he came through it to book his spot in the third round.
Afterwards, though, it was the sheer speed of the courts that had struck Djokovic the most.
“Honestly, it’s like ice out there,” Djokovic told in a post-match interview with Eurosport.
“I don’t know what they’ve done but the speed of the court has been the fastest in the last 15 years – the fastest I’ve ever experienced here at the Australian Open.
“I don’t know what the reason for that but it keeps getting faster and faster. You need to serve well, if you don’t, if you’re playing against someone that is solid, it’s tough to win matches on this court.”
Djokovic also reiterating his admiration for the performance of Tiafoe, who took him to two tiebreaks and won a set against the Serbian.
“I enjoy the fight,” Djokovic said. “He gave his all. He was really playing at a very high level. He was not making unforced errors.
“He was just so solid. I couldn’t penetrate through that backhand corner. I had to change the pattern of play and I honestly wasn’t happy the way I played in the second and third [sets].
“I was passive and didn’t really feel great on the court, but I think the serve was getting me out of trouble. Credit to him, he played really well.”
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