The Australian Open will be held over 15 days from 2024, one day longer, with the aim of avoiding matches in the middle of the night after Andy Murray notably finished a match at 4:05 a.m. during the 2023 edition, tournament management announced Tuesday.
The first Grand Slam lift of the tennis season will therefore begin a day earlier, on a Sunday, from the next season.
“We have listened to feedback from players and fans and are pleased to announce a solution to reduce late finishes of matches,” said tournament director Craig Tiley.
“The additional day will achieve this goal” and offer better programming to fans and players, he added.
The Grand Slam tournament played in Melbourne did not specifically refer to the Andy Murray-Thanasi Kokkinakis match which, lasting 5 hours 45 minutes, ended at 4:05 a.m. local time during the last edition.
The Briton, winner in five sets, said in the middle of the match: “Why are we playing at 3 a.m.?”, provoking a debate around the scheduling of the tournament.
“It’s not good for the referees, the officials. I don't think it's great for the fans. It’s not good for the players,” said the former world No.1 after this nighttime marathon in January.
According to the Australian Open, the data collected shows that matches are getting longer.
The first Grand Slam of the season will take place in 2024 from January 14 to 28.