Behind The Scenes With Djokovic During Rome Rain Delay
When there’s a rain delay like there was on Tuesday evening at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, nobody sees what the players do once off the court. So what happens as they wait out the weather indoors?
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic brought fans behind the scenes after he finished off Taylor Fritz in straight sets. The Serbian explained how he passed the nearly three hours of time between leaving Center Court and returning later in the evening.
“We played a social game. It wasn't Uno, it was Parcheesi,” Djokovic said. “We do play that daily now. We try to kill some time with that.”
Last year, Djokovic spoke about how much his team enjoyed playing UNO, a card game. But now they are having fun with Parcheesi, which Rafael Nadal has long played with his team.
The Serbian acknowledged that there is a fair amount of uncertainty during rain delays, especially when it comes to figuring out when play will resume. That affects when the player has to warm up and eat, among other things.
“Every half an hour it's a checkpoint, and they will let you know whether the match is postponed or they're going to call it or they're just going to call it a night, then you have to go to hotel,” Djokovic said. “Also with eating, whether you rest or you get some sleep or not. You really have to feel yourself and know what's best for you. Sometimes if you fall asleep, wake up, maybe it takes time to get those engines moving.”
On Tuesday, the World No. 1 didn’t take a nap. Instead, he spent the delay with his team.
“I was awake. I was listening to some music, talked to my coach about his observation of my game, what needs to be done better. But we also had some fun,” Djokovic said. “I spoke to my kids. There's always something to do. I was definitely not bored.”