HomeAustralian Open confirms women’s singles semi-finals will be played in prime time...

Australian Open confirms women’s singles semi-finals will be played in prime time next year

Australian Open organisers have announced the women’s singles semi-finals of the 2022 tournament will be shown in prime time.

The women’s singles semi-finals at the Australian Open will be played in prime time next year, 100 years after Australia’s premier tennis tournament first featured female competitors.

Australian Open organisers confirmed on Friday that both semi-finals would be played in the night slot on Thursday, January 27.

Watch Tennis Live with beIN SPORTS on Kayo. Live Coverage of ATP + WTA Tour Tournaments including Every Finals Match. New to Kayo? Start Your Free Trial >

Tournament director Craig Tiley said he was “delighted” by the move, which comes 13 years after the women’s singles final was shifted to prime time in 2009.

“Tennis is one of the very few global sports in which women and men compete on the same stage, earn equal prizemoney and have equal exposure,” he said.

“Although this is a source of pride, we recognise we can always do more as we continue to strive for equality, inclusion and diversity throughout the sport, both on and off the court.”

Tiley said the 100th anniversary of the women’s tournament would be commemorated at next year’s Open, with organisers planning special acknowledgments for trailblazing Australian players, including inaugural winner Margaret Molesworth and three-time champion Joan Hartigan.

“At a time when it was rare for women to participate in high-level sport, these women – along with Daphne Akhurst, a five-time champion in the 1920s and for whom our women’s trophy is named – blazed a trail and paved the way for future generations,” Tiley said.

“Margaret Molesworth and Joan Hartigan were both recognised as being in the top 10 in the world, in itself an extraordinary achievement for their times.

“They also continued to contribute, giving back to the sport as coaches and administrators. As we celebrate the feats of our amazing athletes today, it’s important to stop and reflect on those who came before them, and it’s a privilege to be in a position to shine the spotlight on their success.”

It is yet to be confirmed whether unvaccinated players will be welcomed at next year’s tournament.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison last month hinted that exemptions would be granted to unvaxxed players willing to complete hotel quarantine, but Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is less keen on that idea.

“I am not going to require people sitting in the grandstand, people working at the event, to be vaccinated while players aren’t,” Andrews said in October.

“So we’re not going to be applying for an exemption. Therefore the issue is basically resolved.”

Reigning men’s singles champion Novak Djokovic remains coy on his vaccination status and says he will only confirm his attendance once Tennis Australia releases a statement on the matter.

The top-ranked female player in the world, Ash Barty, announced last month that she would sit the remainder of this year’s ATP Tour out to focus on winning her first Australian Open.

After a career-best year, in which she won her second Grand Slam event at Wimbledon and also lifted the trophy at the Melbourne Summer Series, Miami Open, the Cincinnati Masters and the Stuttgart Open, Barty looks set to claim her fourth consecutive John Newcombe Medal, awarded to Australia’s most outstanding elite tennis player.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Must Read