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Australian Open Becoming 15-Day Event to Avoid Late Finishes

Late-night finishes have been a huge problem at the Australian Open, and the tournament’s organizers are going to great lengths to avoid them. This Grand Slam is now set to become a 15-day event in an attempt to cut the risk of night sessions being delayed. Several players have complained about the night matches at the Australian Open finishing painfully late in recent years. Most notably, Andy Murray described his 4:05 am finish as a "farce" back in January, after kicking off his five-set match against Thanasi Kokkinakis at 22:20 and spending five hours and 45 minutes on court. Tournament director Craig Tiley said they’ve heard the critics loud and clear. The first round will now be played over three days instead of two, extending the tournament to 15 days for the first time in history. "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. The additional day will achieve this, benefiting scheduling for fans and players alike,” said Tiley. Instead of scheduling three matches for day sessions on the main courts, the number has been cut to two matches per day, and the new rule will come into effect when the Australian Open returns to Melbourne Park this winter.