Tennis: Djokovic slams courtside holes at Italian Open

Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates after winning against David Ferrer of Spain on May 16, 2015 in Rome. -- PHOTO: AFP
Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates after winning against David Ferrer of Spain on May 16, 2015 in Rome. -- PHOTO: AFP

ROME (AFP) - Italian Open finalist Novak Djokovic hit out at organisers on Saturday after a "dangerous" semi-final win over David Ferrer in which he escaped twisting his ankle in holes that appeared on court.

Djokovic, the defending champion and top seed, will play either Stan Wawrinka or Roger Federer in Sunday's final at the Foro Italico in Rome.

But several times during his 6-4, 6-4 semi-final win over Spanish seventh seed Ferrer, Djokovic called officials to fill in holes which he said he appeared near the baseline.

Afterwards, he admitted his frustration and criticised organisers for failing to have the court properly prepared in time.

"The thing I wish I'd done better was not to get frustrated that much, but people need to understand at this level every single thing matters to us, especially the court and the playing conditions," said Djokovic.

"It's obvious the court is not where it's supposed to be condition-wise. Last year was better, this year, as I understand, they started making the court too late, a few weeks ago.

"And it's not enough for a professional tournament and a Masters 1000 event. So I hope for next year they will prepare it better because once you start playing there's not much you can do."

With less than 10 days to go till the start of Roland Garros, the climax of the clay court season, Djokovic was in no mood for suffering an injury that would compound his bid for a first French Open title in Paris.

He added: "We had some places where the holes are really deep... it's not just for the serve, if you make those holes and you're sliding and getting into that hole, you can twist your ankle easily.

"That was my point, that it's dangerous to really play in these conditions just overall for injuries. Not just for myself, for everybody.

"But there's not much you can do except fix the hole that's going to be even bigger the next point.

"It comes down to dealing with it and accepting it's the same for your opponent and moving on. I just hope for the sake of this tournament, which I like very much, next year they take more time in preparing the court."

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.