Australian Open officers will for the primary time cost spectators to observe qualifying matches within the week earlier than the Grand Slam begins because it begins to recoup a few of the money reserves spent staging the previous two Covid-ravaged occasions.
The transfer may even permit these spectators to observe organised follow matches between a few of the world’s finest gamers who’ve agreed to stage them as a part of what match boss Craig Tiley mentioned would change into a “three-week extravaganza” in Melbourne.
Tiley revealed the brand new plan having confirmed final week that $80 million Tennis Australia had in money reserves had been principally depleted over the previous two years, they usually needed to begin constructing it once more.
He mentioned nine-time champion Novak Djokovic, returning to the Open after being deported earlier than final yr’s occasion, could be included within the “good follow” periods and anticipated a glowing reception from followers.
“They’ll have ball children, they’ll have umpires, they’ll have followers that may come (from the) qualifying, so you would truly watch a match,” Tiley mentioned.
“They‘ll play towards Novak (Djokovic), they’ll play towards Rafa (Nadal) and play a set towards Rafa or whoever … we’ll see Alex de Minaur, we’ll see all of the gamers.
“This is part of our initiative of a 3 week competition of tennis … that is yr one, and as we go on we’ll develop it as a content material week. This a journey we’re going to go on.”
The qualifiers, which begin on January 9, have historically been free entry however this yr grownup tickets will price $10 and a baby‘s entry is $5.
Tiley used the pre-event press convention to substantiate the Australian Open, which is beneath contract to play in Melbourne till 2046 was “not going wherever” regardless of poaching curiosity from China. s
“Crucial factor is it‘s not a lot in regards to the Australian Open being pinched – we’re right here till 2046, we’re not going wherever, and I believe even past that,” Tiley mentioned.
“We’ve seen the opposite slams catch-us up. with stadiums with roofs, growing their footprint, and that’s nice for our sport.
“We simply be certain that we run an amazing three-week extravaganza of tennis that the remainder of the world desires to take part in and be a part of.”