The Australian Open is scheduled to begin on next year Sunday and will span 15 days, expanding the Grand Slam tennis tournament to a 15-day event for the first time. One of the key objectives of this extended schedule is to reduce late-night matches. By spreading the tournament over a longer duration, organizers aim to ensure that matches can be scheduled at more reasonable hours for both players and spectators. Australian Open 2024 also minimizes the need for late-night play.
The change for next January’s tournament at Melbourne Park comes after this year’s Australian Open. It included a second-round match between Andy Murray and Thanasi Kokkinakis that concluded after 4 a.m. Tennis is a sport played without a clock. Thus matches can be shorter than an hour or continue more than 5 1/2 hours, as Murray’s triumph in January did. As a result, the late endings have become something of a semi-regular occurrence. Also read: Reaching New Heights: Veronika Kudermetova Claims Second Title at Toray Pan Pacific Open
“We’ve listened to feedback from the players and fans and are excited to deliver a solution to minimize late finishes while continuing to provide a fair and equitable schedule on the stadium courts,” Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said in a statement issued with the announcement.
According to Tiley, the first round of the competition will last three days as opposed to the previous two.
The revised dates for the Australian Open in 2024 are January 14–28. It is presently one of only two tennis majors staged over 15 days, along with the French Open. Both the US Open and Wimbledon last 14 days. Also read: 7 Unknown Facts about Carlos Alcaraz that you never knew
“Tennis after dark” has become something of a semi-regular occurrence in tennis. Two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova wrote Monday on social media that it was “far from ideal” to finish a match at the China Open at 1 a.m. “and then be back on the schedule” the following day. “Please do better for your players,” she urged the WTA women’s tour.
This change is aimed at improving the overall experience for everyone involved in the tournament and addressing concerns related to late-night matches that have been a part of previous Australian Open events. Also read: Lindsay Davenport will be the next US captain for the Billie Jean King Cup