Chair umpire gives John Millman OK for off-court shirt switch

Novak Djokovic's 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 US Open quarterfinal win over John Millman on Wednesday night was halted briefly at 2-all in the second set so that Millman could change out of his sweat-soaked outfit.

Normally, players are allowed to head off the court only between sets to change what they're wearing.

But Millman asked Djokovic if he'd be OK with a delay after the fourth game.

When Millman apologized for leaving the court at that juncture, Djokovic replied, "I'm fine to have a little rest,'' then sat down on his sideline bench without a shirt on and cooled off.

"Definitely not easy conditions to play in,'' Djokovic said, "but same for both players.''

Play resumed after about a six-minute delay.

The USTA said in a statement that Millman was not charged with a "change of attire or bathroom break" because the situation fell within the purview of the definition of the "Equipment Out of Adjustment" provision.

"The chair determined that the surface was dangerous enough to invoke the 'Equipment Out of Adjustment' provision in the ITF Duties and Procedures for Officials and allowed Millman to go off court to change clothes/shoes," read the statement issued by the USTA. "Both players agreed that he should do so."

Millman, who said he's usually not an excessive sweater, was surprised.

"I didn't even know the rule," the Australian said. "I'm not normally someone who changes full clothes, full kit.

"You don't stop sweating, though. You go to this little holding room just off the court, and there's a tiny, probably, like, 3-by-3 room, even less, and you're just dripping. The sweating doesn't stop."

Djokovic had the same sweaty sentiment.

"I personally have never sweat as much as I have here," he said. "Incredible. I mean, I have to take at least 10 shirts for every match. It's literally after two games you're soaking, you know.

"Obviously, the roof, [it] is fantastic to have the roof. We, as players, are grateful that we have the roof, because then the rain will not interrupt the matches and matches will go on on two courts, which is great. But, you know, I think that with so many players retiring that first round, first day or second day, and so many players struggling to breathe, especially on the center court, which, you know, doesn't, there is no circulation of the air at all, especially court level.

"So I think that's something to really think about, consider and address."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.