As the end of every season approaches, the hype around the opening Major, Australian Open begins to rise up as if the circle of tennis world is complete and set to repeat itself, every year. The Grand Slam event at Melbourne Park is scheduled from 17th January to 30th January 2022 and ahead of the event, there has been a historic announcement from the Director of the ‘Happy Slam’, Craig Tiley.
The women’s competition at the Australian Open began in 1922 and next year marks their 100th anniversary. To honor this incredible feat, Mr. Tiley has announced a historic change in the schedule of the ‘Happy Slam’. The world’s best female athletes are set to shine in prime time at the Australian Open, with both women’s semifinal matches moving to the night session.
Specific dates have also been revealed for the same. In a first for the AO, this schedule change comes 12 years after the AO women’s final was moved to Saturday night in 2009.
Women’s semi-finals to be played in prime slot at Australian Open 2022
The women’s semifinals have previously been played on Thursday afternoon, with the men’s semis split between the Thursday and Friday night session.
From 2022 the two women’s semifinals will be played from 7.30pm on Thursday night at Rod Laver Arena, and the men’s semis will both be played on Friday, across a day and night session. The women’s semi-finals will be taking place on 27th January 2022.
“As we celebrate 100 years of women’s competition at what is now the Australian Open, I’m delighted to further showcase the women’s game by scheduling the semifinals in the prime time TV spot of Thursday night,” Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley said.
Following the announcement, tennis fans across the world are excited to witness this historic moment. The 100th anniversary of the women’s championships will be a focus for celebration throughout the Australian Open.
Tiley: “Tennis is one of the very few global sports in which women and men compete on the same stage”
A passionate advocate for gender equality, Craig Tiley takes pride to be in a position that allows him to set the right example and shine the spotlight on the success of extraordinary athletes of the sport.
The tournament director said that the intent behind taking this ground-breaking step is to show that women’s tennis shares the same limelight as men’s at the Australian open. The chief then went on to name some of the finest players in women’s tennis.
“Tennis is one of the very few global sports in which women and men compete on the same stage, earn equal prize money and have equal exposure. Although this is a source of pride, we recognize we can always do more as we continue to strive for equality, inclusion and diversity throughout the sport, both on and off the court.”
“We are incredibly fortunate in tennis to not only have great athletes in our sport, but tremendous personalities and role models. This includes our very own world No.1 and Wimbledon champion Ash Barty, recent two-time AO champion Naomi Osaka, the incredible Serena and Venus Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Kim Clijsters, Li Na … the list of inspirational women in tennis is long, and they are all extraordinary.”
The excitement for the first Grand Slam of 2022 is already sky-high as players like Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams, who were struggling with injuries, have announced positive news about their participation and it is just about time that the action begins. Moreover, the announcement regarding the change in schedule after a 100 years of women’s championships makes it tenfold special.