17 Jan 2009

Put the Open back, Djokovic urges

6:57 am on 17 January 2009

The Australian Open tennis champion Novak Djokovic has been beaten 6-4 7-6 by Finland's Jarkko Nieminen in the semi-finals of the Sydney International.

And after blowing his chance to leapfrog Roger Federer into second place in the world rankings, the Serbian world No.3 blamed the heat.

Djokovic joined the chorus of players calling for the Australian Open to be pushed back a fortnight, backing up Roger Federer's plea earlier this week to delay the start of the season's first grand slam.

Djokovic says players need more time to prepare for a hot Australian summer campaign.