Welcome to Wide World of Sports’ live coverage of Australia’s tennis summer, featuring action from Hobart and Adelaide.


Tennis Australia chief executive Craig Tiley has called calls to change the Australian Open schedule to allow players a longer off-season “ridiculous” and “bizarre”.

Tiley was responding to an Australian media report which suggested the first grand slam of the season could be moved away from January and the peak of the Australian summer.

“I read that. I thought it was absolutely ridiculous – a bizarre claim,” he said.

“You talk to every player, it’s the season. It starts in January. It starts here in Australia.”

Welcome to Wide World of Sports' live coverage of Australia's tennis summer, featuring action from Hobart and Adelaide.

Tiley was speaking at an event at Melbourne Park on Monday which marked the start of the Australian Open qualifying tournament. Australian player Alex de Minaur, who also attended the event, said it was “no secret” the pro season was long but said he was relishing the start of January.

“Alex has a good point about the length of the season,” Tiley said.

“The sport needs to come together and look at the duration.

“It ends with the Davis Cup late in the men’s and not as late in the women’s, but I think it’s a long season. We’ve been talking about it for a long time.

“But Australia is summer, Australia is January and this event is, from a players perspective, one of their favorite places to play.”

Some commentators have linked the withdrawal of top players, including men’s No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz, from this year’s Open to the short offseason. Alcaraz and veteran Venus Williams will both miss the tournament due to injury. Many players also face the challenge of adapting from the Northern Hemisphere winter to the Australian summer.

Welcome to Wide World of Sports' live coverage of Australia's tennis summer, featuring action from Hobart and Adelaide.

Tiley said the players had enough time to prepare and acclimatize.

“They’re coming here earlier, now we’re seeing players here for six weeks, for seven weeks and preparation for the Australian summer is very normalised,” he said.

“They know what they have to do.”

De Minaur said the length of the season needs to be reviewed.

“It’s no secret that the year is a very long year,” he said.

“You play tournaments throughout the year, you finish quite late. It depends on your schedule and everything.

“If there was a bit more time for an off-season, I’m sure a lot of players would like that. But at the same time, we’re kind of used to it.

“I did it for a few years where you finish pretty late and then you go right in the middle of things.”


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