Fans make a beeline for Australian Open


Australian Open breaks attendance record Image: Coliseum GSVA

The Australian Open set a Grand Slam attendance record with more than 900,000 spectators visiting over three weeks, organizers said recently, despite the absence of some big-name players and schedule disruptions due to rain.

‘Reuters’ stated that a record 839,192 fans flocked to Melbourne Park in Melbourne (Australia) from January 16th-29th for the first tournament in two years free of COVID-19 restrictions, beating the previous mark of 812,174 set in January 2020.

The Australian Open is a tennis tournament held annually at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The tournament is the first of the four Grand Slam tennis events held each year, preceding the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.

The Melbourne Park is a sports venue in the Melbourne Sports and Entertainment Precinct in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Since 1988 Australia’s bicentenary, the Melbourne Park has been home to the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament played annually in January.

‘Reuters’ further stated that the above figures eclipse last year’s attendance numbers at other Grand Slam main draws – 515,164 visited Wimbledon (UK), 613,500 were at the French Open and 776,120 went to the US Open.

The Wimbledon Championships (UK), commonly known simply as Wimbledon, is the oldest tennis tournament in the world and is widely regarded as the most prestigious.

The French Open, also known as Roland-Garros, is a major tennis tournament held over two weeks at the Stade Roland Garros in Paris, France, beginning in late May each year. The tournament and venue are named after the French aviator Roland Garros.

The US Open Tennis Championships is a hard court tennis tournament held annually in Queens, New York (US). Since 1987, the US Open has been chronologically the fourth and final Grand Slam tournament of the year. The other three, in chronological order, are the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon.

Over 60,000 also watched the qualifying events in Melbourne, bringing the total up to 902,312.

The tournament, missing the retired American tennis player Serena Williams, Swiss tennis player Roger Federer and last year’s homegrown champion Ash Barty, broke its single-day attendance mark with 94,854 fans visiting on January 21st. The previous record was 93,709 set in 2020.

Commented Craig Tiley, Tennis Australia Chief Executive, “It was reported that we didn’t have the greats any more, that it was going to be terrible. But people just want to be entertained. They want to have some fun, and tennis is a great option for them, and it’s become a Summer thing to do for Melburnians and for Australians and also for our guests from around the world.”

Tiley has set his sights on breaching the one million mark next year.

Added Tiley, “This year was the start of it. It was a three-week extravaganza.”

The numero uno Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic beat the Greek tennis player Stefanos Tsitsipas on January 29th to win his 10th Australian Open crown, drawing level with the Spanish professional tennis player Rafa Nadal on 22 majors, and reclaim the world number one ranking.

The Belarussian tennis player Aryna Sabalenka won her first Grand Slam title with victory over the Kazakhstani tennis player Elena Rybakina on January 28th.

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