"Rome has hired Feliciano Lopez as a scheduling consultant" - Fans express frustration over delay in Italian Open 2023 schedule release

Novak Djokovic and Feliciano Lopez (inset)
Novak Djokovic and Feliciano Lopez (inset).

Tennis fans have voiced their discontent regarding the delay in the release of the 2023 Italian Open schedule.

On Friday, the organizers of the Italian Open failed to provide the players and fans around the globe with the playing schedule in a timely manner. Many have likened this blunder to the poor scheduling at the recently concluded Madrid Open.

During her runner-up speech after losing the final to Aryna Sabalenka, World No. 1 Iga Swiatek expressed her dissatisfaction with the scheduling of the Madrid Open. Swiatek's sentiments were echoed by Novak Djokovic, who also criticized the tournament organizers for scheduling a late-night semifinal ahead just before the final.

The scheduling issue in Rome has sparked a wave of discontent and frustration among tennis fans. But a few also managed to see the funny side of things, with one suggesting that the Italian Open had used Madrid Open director Feliciano Lopez as their "scheduling consultant."

"Rome has hired Feliciano Lopez as a scheduling consultant," the fan tweeted.

Another fan joked that the organizers might have been preoccupied with the ongoing Eurovision competition, giving them little time to focus on the scheduling of the Masters 1000 tournament.

"Rome organisers too busy watching Eurovision to share the schedule," the fan tweeted.

Here are a few more reactions from fans:

Ahead of the 2023 Italian Open, Novak Djokovic talked about scheduling problems in Madrid

Novak Djokovic at a press conference
Novak Djokovic at a press conference

Novak Djokovic defeated Aslan Karatsev 6-3, 6-2 in his first match at the Italian Open. During his post-match press conference, the Serb addressed the scheduling issues that arose during the Madrid Open.

"You can't finish your semifinal match at 1:00 AM and play the final the next day. I understand that they want to sell more tickets by scheduling a late night session on Saturday, but that can cause problems," he said.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion further emphasized the importance of tournament organizers communicating with players about schedules. He disclosed that during his tenure as president of the ATP Players Council, he made efforts to address this issue.

"The organizers should talk to the players before making these kinds of decisions," Djokovic said. "When I was the president of the Players' Council several years ago, I tried to solve this problem. But still, nothing changed."

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Edited by Anirudh
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