Here’s a story from “out of left field” as some here the U.S. say. A few top tennis officials are looking into making some significant tournament changes at the Grand Slam level.
According to the article, the idea of moving the Australian Open is being discussed along with the thought of adding additional Slam events in Europe and/or Asia, upping the number of Majors to five or six. That’s pretty serious talk.
Tennis Australia is worried that if they don’t improve their event soon it might be lost to deeper pockets. And changes could come in Europe.
“Roland Garros will not lose its grand slam status, but I’m convinced that if we don’t make progress, there will one day be a fifth grand slam event in Asia and possibly a sixth in Europe,” French Open head Christian Bimes said to the Melbourne Age. “The losers would be the French Open and Wimbledon. We want to avoid that at any cost.”
The nutty Ion Tiriac is also backs the idea of more Slams.
But having anything other than four core Majors would impact the record books like nothing else. Of course it would be a big money grab for the ITF and those involved, but the history and tradition of the sport would take a hit at the hands of financial interests (because that’s never happened before – haha).
Personally, I’m not worried about such a change happening anytime soon, if at all. This story, however, may light a fire under Tennis Australia to get their event close to or on par with the other three. Moving the Australian Open to anywhere outside of Australia doesn’t make much “tennis” sense. Australia’s long been a great tennis country producing many of the greats in our game, and I think moving it to Asia or to Dubai for economic reasons (spare me the “growing the game” B.S.) is a wrong move.
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