While acknowledging the criticism, Feliciano Lopez, tournament director at the Madrid Open, pointed out that commitments to broadcasters had to be adhered to.
"In the end it is very difficult to please everyone, we have been aware for some time that it is over late, that there are players, who, especially on the day of the semifinals, have a small disadvantage compared to the first to qualify," Lopez said. "But there are commitments with international televisions that affect the schedule, the same as the men's final is scheduled after the News of Spanish Television."
Zverev had earlier complained about the scheduling, revealing that he went to bed very late after his semifinal against Stefanos Tsitsipas, causing him great difficulty in the final against Carlos Alcaraz.
"Two days ago I went to bed at 4:30 am. Yesterday I went to bed at 5:20 am," Zverev said. "If a normal person goes to bed one night at 4:00 am and the next night at 5:00 am, it will be difficult for them to be active. And for me, playing a final against Alcaraz, the best player in the world today and in a Masters 1000, the next day, is difficult."
Zverev was dispatched by the young Spaniard in the final in Madrid, winning only four games during the entire match.
"I tried to solve this issue, but still, nothing changed" - Novak Djokovic on the scheduling of matches on the ATP tour
During a press conference after his win over Aslan Karatsev at the Italian Open, Novak Djokovic revealed that he had attempted to sort out issues surrounding the scheduling of matches when he was president of the Players' Council, but to no avail.
"You cannot end your semi-final match at 1am and play the final the following day," Djokovic said. "I understand that they want to sell more tickets by scheduling a night session on Saturday, but it may cause problems. The organisers should talk to players before making this kind of decisions. When I was the President of the Player’s Council several years ago, I tried to solve this issue. But still, nothing changed."
Novak Djokovic will square off against Felix Auger-Aliassime in the quarterfinals of the Italian Open on Friday. The World No. 1 is only three matches away from winning his sixth title in Rome.