McEnroe smacks down Federer 'conspiracy'

Tennis legend John McEnroe has weighed in on a 'conspiracy theory' involving Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.

Fans and some sections of the media have voiced complaints throughout the Australian Open that Federer is being given preferential treatment by officials.

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So far throughout the tournament, Federer has played all night matches, avoiding some shocking temperatures during the day.

Novak Djokovic on the other hand has played most of his matches during the day, and sweltered through 40C conditions during his second round clash with Gael Monfils.

Federer and Djokovic. Image: Getty

Djokovic complained that he 'almost died' during the match, sparking concern that he was being unfairly treated in the scheduling of matches.

However McEnroe has smacked down the conspiracy theories, saying it simply makes more sense for Federer to play in prime time.

“Fact. Roger Federer asked to play at night. Fact. Roger has played all three of his matches in the cooler night slot on the Rod Laver Arena," McEnroe told Eurosport.

“Fact: Novak Djokovic did not request a specific time slot for his matches. Fact: Novak Djokovic played his first two matches during the day, one of them in the blistering summer sun.

Federer and McEnroe. Image: Getty

“Just like that we have the choir of journalists and Djokovic fans singing the all too familiar tune 'it is not fair.'

“Stop. Fake news alert. The truth is much more simple than that. Scheduling decisions are also business decisions.

“Roger, not Novak, is the golden goose of tennis and he gets to play on the biggest stage in front of the biggest audience whenever he wants.

“Plain and simple. Is it fair? I don’t know and I don’t care. Life isn’t fair."

However McEnroe actually believes Djokovic may have received an advantage.

“I actually think the organisation is doing him a favour by treating him like s***. The guy feeds on adversity," he said.

“I actually think this reversed ‘preferential treatment’ might actually help him.”

Federer himself addressed the criticism after his second round victory, saying the heat is part and parcel of the Australian Open.

"You do know when you come to Australia the heat can sometimes be problematic but everyone faces similar issues," Federer said.

"Sure I was watching the other players suffer but as long as nothing bad happens it's all good."

Federer told Jim Courier in his post-match interview on Rod Laver Arena that he hoped "he would thrive" in the blazing conditions of the day, but that he welcomes his consistent night schedule.

The Swiss said there was no easy solution for tournament organisers, with roof closures and match delays also presenting unfair circumstances across the field.

"On a day like today, what do you do -- do you stop all matches?" the world No.2 said.

"Lucky guys on the big courts, do they get to play under the roof? Do the other guys get postponed to the next day and is that great?

"I honestly can't complain -- the ATP is doing a nice job and there's a lot of physios and communication going on from officials towards us players."

Federer and Djokovic will actually reverse schedules on Monday, with Federer playing in the afteroon and Djokovic at night.

with AAP