Playing tennis at 3 AM is not good for the sport

Professional tennis is doing a disservice to its players and fans by allowing these late night matches to continue
Mateo Villalba/GettyImages

Novak Djokovic and Lorenzo Musetti played for nearly 4 1/2 hours in a five-set match that lasted until 3:00 AM Paris time. While it was an extremely entertaining match, this practice of allowing late-night matches hurts the sport in the long run.

Some will say that it is a factor of weather and scheduling, and these players are highly paid professional athletes who should be prepared for these situations, but that is not a fair assessment.

The amount of physical, emotional, and mental wear-and-tear in a late night match is very difficult to recover from, regardless of the player's age, but in the case of Djokovic at 37, it is admittedly more of a challenge.

Quick recovery is an oxymoron

There is no such thing as a quick recovery from a match ending at 3 AM. Cool-down stretches, ice baths, massages, nutrition, and media are all priorities for the player who wins this match because the time is ticking before he has to be back on the court for the next round. Djokovic probably will not get to sleep until 6 AM so essentially he has lost a night of sleep because of how the tournament schedule played out.

Everything about the French Open. Everything you need to know about the 2024 French Open. dark. Next

Why does tennis keep doing this to its players? The French Open is not the only tournament guilty of this. Daniil Medvedev has earned the nickname "Midnight Meddy" for his late-night match wins.

Tennis players deal with the most variables of any professional athlete. Different playing surfaces, types of balls, and hours that change by the day. This is on top of an 11-month calendar of globetrotting to play tennis. Playing these all-night matches is another way of risking sickness and injury to the players.

Preserving the players and promoting the game the right way need to become top priorities. These late night matches are not the right way to do it, and hopefully someone realizes it sooner rather than later before a catastrophic injury or problem happens.

Read more on Lob and Smash