Why are they playing tennis matches until Close 4 a.m. at the Australian Open - milectoWhy are they playing tennis matches until Close 4 a.m. at the Australian Open - milecto

At the strange tennis hour of 3:39 a.m., Daniil Medvedev walked towards the net in Rod Laver Arena with a smile on his face. It took him five sets and almost four and a half hours to win in the second round of the Australian Open. It was the third-latest finish in the history of Grand Slams.

It was funny when Medvedev said that if he were just a fan in the empty stands and not a player, seeing a game go on past 1 a.m. would make him say, “OK, let’s go home.” We’re going to watch the game’s end on TV. “I’m going to watch for 30 minutes and then go to bed.”

This makes you wonder why Medvedev, who has come in second place twice at Melbourne Park, Emil Ruusuvuori, the chair judge, the ball people, and the few people who were still there stayed up until the wee hours of the morning.

Some people didn’t like the idea of tennis matches going late into the night. John Isner said on social media, “No one should be playing tennis at 3:30 am,” which was shared by many other players and fans. “This looks like something from a cartoon.” The tennis player Isner has been in long matches. He won the longest tennis match ever at Wimbledon in 2010, which went an amazing 11 hours and 5 minutes over three days. This gives him a unique view on the subject.

Tennis does not have a traditional “game clock,” as is first apparent at big events like the Australian Open and U.S. Open, when matches may go late into the night. These Grand Slam tournaments have long included night sessions, which let play to continue far into the night if needed. There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to “too late,” as Daniil Medvedev and Emil Ruusuvuori demonstrated when they started their warm-up after 11 p.m. because of the previous match between Anna Blinkova and Elena Rybakina, which lasted for an unprecedented 2 1/2 hours and included a record-breaking 22-20 tiebreaker.

The fact that only eight out of the thirty-two singles matches, including one in the men’s bracket, ended in straight sets highlighted the fierce competition and affected the day’s dynamics. Conversely, Wimbledon honours a deal with nearby homeowners to end play at 11 p.m.

Even though night sessions were just added to the French Open in 2021, the competition hasn’t yet experienced the type of late-night drama that occurs in Melbourne and New York. Interestingly, the most recent Grand Slam results—all four of which took place in Australia—went as high as 4:34 a.m. in a 2008 match between Lleyton Hewitt and Marcos Baghdatis. The U.S. Open holds the fifth position. In 2022, Carlos Alcaraz defeated Jannik Sinner in a match that ended at 2:50 a.m.

Let’s be honest and think about what people really want when they watch sports. For example, Victoria Azarenka, who has won the Australian Open twice, said, “I haven’t been able to sit through one of those five-hour marathon matches.” It’s way too long.” With three Grand Slam wins, Andy Murray agrees and thinks it’s completely crazy that matches can go on past 4 a.m. in Melbourne. “It’s very clear that something needs to change,” he states. Really, nobody has voiced any opposition to it.”

He stressed the need for a more fair schedule by saying, “It just looks more professional if matches don’t end at 3 or 4 in the morning.” The effect on players’ health and the general level of competition is clear; during their long match, both Medvedev and Ruusuvuori needed help from their coaches. Medvedev even got help from the chair judge at one point to tie his shoe, and the fifth set wasn’t as exciting as one would have hoped.

Coconut Gauff, the current U.S. Open winner, said, “Yes, at night is probably our prime time, and we can get the most viewers, but we also have to look out for the health of the players.”

The women’s and men’s professional tennis tours announced new rules that limit play after midnight. However, these rules only apply to WTA and ATP games, not Grand Slam tournaments. Tennis Australia tried to solve the problem by adding a 15th day to the Australian Open, starting on a Sunday instead of a Monday. This was done to give players more time to prepare and lower the chance of events beginning late at night. However, the ideal result did not happen as planned.

Sharing a snapshot of his watch close to 4:30 a.m., Medvedev playfully captioned it with, “It’s late!” accompanied by a laughing-crying emoji. Aware that he wouldn’t be hitting the sack until approximately 6 or 6:30 a.m. on Friday, the timing was less than ideal, especially with another match scheduled for Saturday against Felix Auger-Aliassime. Despite the less-than-ideal circumstances, Medvedev expressed his determination, stating, “I will try to give my everything. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work.”


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