Organisers of the Australian Open have decided to add an extra day reduce pressure on both fans and players.
The tournament often sees five matches played per day during the early rounds.
In recent years, some matches have gone on until very late at night or even into the early hours of the next morning.
At the 2023 tournament, Thansi Kokkinakis and Any Murray played their second-round match which lasted six hours. Because they could only start late at night due to other games, their match only ended at 4:05 the next day.
CNN reports that Murray, a three-time grand slam champion and former world No.1, was left fuming not just at the duration of the match but also because he was denied a chance to go to the toilet in the middle of the contest.
Craig Tiley, Australian Open tournament director, said in a statement that they’re hoping to be fair towards both the players and the fans.
“We’ve listened to feedback from the players and fans and are excited to deliver a solution to minimise late finishes while continuing to provide a fair and equitable schedule on the stadium courts.”
The changes will be applied at next year’s tournament where the first round will last for three days instead of the usual two.
Image credit: The Independent