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World's Perspective On Australian Open


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Just a few questions about the World's perspective on the Australian Open.

Does the Australian Open get much coverage in the US/Europe in comparison to say the French Open, Wimbledon and US Open? Also, is the Australian Open seen as being as prestigious as the other 3 Grand Slam events and hence is the international public that interested (generally) in it? Finally, do most specifically tennis fans the Australian Open as continuing to be the 4th Slam or do they prefer China or possibly Dubai in the future?

Thanks. I'd be interested to know what people outside of Australia think of the event. I actually don't have any idea!

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Australia will always be one of the four majors - no worries about Dubai or China on that front.

I think (maybe I'm biased - I'm British!) that Wimbledon is generally seen to be the Top Major. Nadal and Federer both talked about their ultimate dream being to win at Wimbledon. I think belopw Wimbledon they are all seen to be similar. But then again that might just be the British perspective. But the tradition, tbeing the oldest tournament, the garden party atmosphere, the grass courts, the rules about wearing whites etc. make Wimbledon a bit different to the other three. The crowd isnt too partisan either, and will often support both sides in a match.

Wimbledon gets wall to wall coverage in the UK. Its quite an institution. The French open more recently has recieved good coverage on the BBC. The Aussie open about the same. The US Open gets less coverage for some reason - its on satellite and therefore reaches a smaller audience.

Hope that helps you!

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Another Brit here; not a hardcore tennis fan, but I will watch the big games and tournaments.

Wimbledon is obviously the biggie here. Nothing else comes remotely close. Like London2012 I get the impression it's seen as the biggest throughout the world though, of course, I may be wrong.

After that it's the French open, purely because the matches are on at convenient times for us.

3rd Australia, then 4th the US. These might get decent amounts of coverage but much of it is in the middle of the night so they tend to pass us by a bit more than Wimbledon and the French open.

These are certainly the big 4 though. As a British sports fan, the Davis Cup and Queens come next and certainly register more than China or Dubai, neither of which I'm really aware of.

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US here.

Just a few questions about the World's perspective on the Australian Open.

Does the Australian Open get much coverage in the US/Europe in comparison to say the French Open, Wimbledon and US Open?

I can only speak for this year (I can't recall previous coverage), but I'd say the Australian Open does get a fair amount of coverage here in the US. ESPN covered the tournament live through out the evening and the early hours of the morning (US time). They would re-air this broadcast during the middle of the day. However, unlike the other four Grand Slams, a major network did not broadcast the event during its two weekends (NBC covers the French Open's and Wimbledon's weekend sessions, and CBS covers the US Open's). I would assume it gets the least amount of viewers here because it takes place in our winter - people are busy with work or school, other sports and primetime television is on, etc.

Also, is the Australian Open seen as being as prestigious as the other 3 Grand Slam events and hence is the international public that interested (generally) in it?

Here, I'd say the most prestigious of the four is generally seen as Wimbledon for all the reasons posted above. The next one would be the US Open, with the other two after that.

Finally, do most specifically tennis fans the Australian Open as continuing to be the 4th Slam or do they prefer China or possibly Dubai in the future?

I would like to see it stay in Australia. There is a well established tennis tradition and culture there. The Aussie crowds are fun - and although I love the enthusiastic rowdiness of spectators here in New York and in Paris - the Australian Open feels like the most "laid-back" tournament of the four. In general, I think all four Grand Slams compliment each other well.

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A German here:

We dont have good tennis players anymore, so the interest has sharply dropped after the retirements of Becker, Stich, Graf and Huber. No national channel broadcasts the AO, FO or the USO. Only Wimbledon gets two hours of coverage. But we can watch the matches of all tournaments on Eurosport.

As far as i know the AO are very popular among players. Only the heat seems to be a problem.

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Thanks people for the responses! Definitely agree that Wimbledon is the regarded as the most presitigious internationally. Nice to know the AO is regarded as being fairly equal to the FO and USO in prestigious; ignoring host nation's biases obviously. Wasn't sure if the rest of the world had little interest in the AO because of timezones and being in a less recognisable city (at least in comparison to Paris, London and New York; the 3 most famous worldwide!); and regarded it as a "smaller" and "weaker" cousin to the the other 3 major championships.

For the record, in Australia Wimbledon is seen as the most prestigious, followed by the AO then the USO and the FO. Unfortunately the FO attracts very little interest in Aus; even the US Open gets substantially more coverage despite the rotten timezone in it's in for Aussie viewers. Maybe its this obsession Australia has towards America that anything going on in the States Australia ought to be interested in.

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A German here:

We dont have good tennis players anymore, so the interest has sharply dropped after the retirements of Becker, Stich, Graf and Huber. No national channel broadcasts the AO, FO or the USO. Only Wimbledon gets two hours of coverage. But we can watch the matches of all tournaments on Eurosport.

Maybe the unexpected victory of Tommy Haas over no.1 seed Novak Djokovic at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle will revive German interests a little as he will now go into Wimbledon with a grass court title behind him?

It is true that the great era of Becker,Graf and Stich (all three Grand Slam winners) is now behind us but Germany still has so many good and up-and-coming players to keep note of (eg.Haas,Kohlschreiber,Beck,Lisicki etc.).Many more than we have here in the UK (only Murray)! B)

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Just a few questions about the World's perspective on the Australian Open.

Does the Australian Open get much coverage in the US/Europe in comparison to say the French Open, Wimbledon and US Open? Also, is the Australian Open seen as being as prestigious as the other 3 Grand Slam events and hence is the international public that interested (generally) in it? Finally, do most specifically tennis fans the Australian Open as continuing to be the 4th Slam or do they prefer China or possibly Dubai in the future?

Thanks. I'd be interested to know what people outside of Australia think of the event. I actually don't have any idea!

For tennis fans like me (as well as the sport's governing bodies of course),the Australian Open is one of the 4 great tournaments of the year..a must see! The only slight drawback is the viewing time from Europe and the US where the time difference means having to stay up late until the early hours of the morning to catch live matches.Not a problem for dedicated fans like me but would probably deter the more casual viewers!

Here in the UK,Wimbledon is the only major tournament that receives full BBC coverage.Only the finals of the other three are screened.However,Sky Sports and Eurosport will give full coverage of the Australian,French and US Opens,which is the only reason I currentlu subscribe to the Sky Sports channels! ;)

Like Wimbledon,the French and US Opens,the Australian Open is a historic institution on the tennis circuit and it seems just inconceivable that it would ever be replaced by other tournaments!! B)

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I dont want to hijack this topic but please let me answer Mainad question and comment.

Maybe the unexpected victory of Tommy Haas over no.1 seed Novak Djokovic at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle will revive German interests a little as he will now go into Wimbledon with a grass court title behind him?

Haas seems to be in his "second spring". He is now 31 years old and after three shoulder surgeries his performence is quite remarkable. Haas was close to a win against Federer in Paris. He has now won tournaments on all surfaces. Becker has never achieved that.

But i doubt, that the interest will rise again. Tennis seems to be so old-fashioned to many Germans.

It is true that the great era of Becker,Graf and Stich (all three Grand Slam winners) is now behind us but Germany still has so many good and up-and-coming players to keep note of (eg.Haas,Kohlschreiber,Beck,Lisicki etc.).Many more than we have here in the UK (only Murray)! B)

But Murray is a potential Grand-Slam-winner. The German players are not bad, but no one will ever win a GS.

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I personally see no reason to change the four Grand Slam championships. However, I do think the question of when the Australian Open is played really does need to be addressed.

At the moment, I think the tournament is far too early in the year. In an ideal world, March would be the best time, though I appreciate weather would probably dictate on that front. At the very least, though, I would move the tournament back a couple of weeks so that it starts at the beginning of February and allows for a full preparation period. Similar should be done for Wimbledon, though I suspect that will be discussed elsewhere in the weeks to come.

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From a Canadian perspective, Wimbeldon would obviously be the most prestigious, although the US Open would be very close behind (mostly because of the coverage that the US Open series has, which includes the Canadian Master, a tournament that has near Grand Slam coverage in Canada). I would say that the Australian Open gets the less attention, because of the time zone and the fact that its not held during summer (outside of the Canadian "Tennis Season").

As for moving the tournament, I'd only be for it if they replaced it by the "Canadian Open".

And I know its off-topic, but wouldn't it be time for at least one Master's event on grass?

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But i doubt, that the interest will rise again. Tennis seems to be so old-fashioned to many Germans.

Old-fashioned? But great sports remain great sports.No-one would ever call football or golf old-fashioned.I think if Germany produced another GS winner (not impossible),interest would rise again.Germans like winners and expect to win.

In the UK,by contrast,we have not had a British male GS winner since 1936 but Wimbledon remains a hallowed sporting institution,part of the very fabric of the summer for us.For 2 weeks of the year,the nation is gripped by tennis fever (and not just enthusiasts like me).The fact that we have a potential British champion like Murray playing just adds spice to the occasion but is not considered essential! ;)

But Murray is a potential Grand-Slam-winner. The German players are not bad, but no one will ever win a GS.

But as you just pointed out,Haas almost beat Federer at Roland Garros and has just beaten Djokovic (as also did Kohlschreiber) to win a grass-court tournament.When you consider that an outsider like Robin Soderling could beat Nadal on clay and make the final in Paris,it is by no means beyond possibility that either of these two could do something similar!

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And I know its off-topic, but wouldn't it be time for at least one Master's event on grass?

I quite agree.Grass is the original surface and the one the game was meant to be played on (people often forget that the Game was originally called Lawn Tennis).I've nothing against clay-court and hard-court tournaments,I quite enjoy them,but it does irk me that they now represent the vast majority of tennis tournaments and grass is restricted to a few brief weeks in the summer.In fact if it weren't for Wimbledon,I think grass surfaces would quickly disappear altogether and then an important part of tennis history would be lost forever!!

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Not surprising that grass coutrts have become more and

I live in the US, tennis courts in city parks, schools, are almost exclusively hard courts. The maintenance of the surface is just too much for communities to have. It would feel plain wrong if the United States Tennis Association still continued to stage the country's Grans Slam tournmaents,

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Sorry, my computer really acted up! What I meant to say was:

Not surprising that grass courts have become more and more rare through the sport’s history.

I live in the US, tennis courts in city parks, schools, etc. are almost exclusively on hard courts. The maintenance of the surface is just too much for communities to have. It would feel plain weird, if not wrong, if the United States Tennis Association still continued to stage the country's Grand Slam tournament on grass (as it did before 1975).

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Wimbledon has been a brand that is synonymous with tennis tradition. Even with the introduction of player challenges, retractable roofs, and anything else that may make the sport more practical in a sense, Wimbledon's retaining of things like the all white attire and the grass courts have ensured that things remain that way.

But it's not surprising that others tournaments in their history have changed just as the sport (in general) has.

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I live in the US, tennis courts in city parks, schools, etc. are almost exclusively on hard courts. The maintenance of the surface is just too much for communities to have. It would feel plain weird, if not wrong, if the United States Tennis Association still continued to stage the country's Grand Slam tournament on grass (as it did before 1975).

Why? What's so hard about maintaining a grass surface? Golf courses are all played on grass aren't they? Why should it be any harder to maintain a grass tennis court?

Wimbledon has been a brand that is synonymous with tennis tradition. Even with the introduction of player challenges, retractable roofs, and anything else that may make the sport more practical in a sense, Wimbledon's retaining of things like the all white attire and the grass courts have ensured that things remain that way.

Wimbledon has stayed true to the roots of the Game.I feel that at least one other Grand Slam should have remained a grass event.

BTW,players at Wimbledon are no longer required to wear all white...just mostly white! ;)

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Why? What's so hard about maintaining a grass surface? Golf courses are all played on grass aren't they? Why should it be any harder to maintain a grass tennis court?

On a grass court you have to reseed and mow the surface more often than repainting and filling in cracks on a hard court.

I do enjoy watching grass court tennis, I just think that hard courts have made the sport more accessible. And if organizations like the USTA or Tennis Australia exist to promote and grow the sport, than it makes sense that Grand Slams they put on should reflect this by being played on surfaces that the vast majority of people in these organizations' constituencies play on.

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Why? What's so hard about maintaining a grass surface? Golf courses are all played on grass aren't they? Why should it be any harder to maintain a grass tennis court?

Grass courts just aren't suitable in Australia anymore. A Grand Slam's surface should generally replicate the most widespread surface in that nation. In Australia, 90% + of tennis courts are either Hardcourts of Synthetic Grass. Grass courts and Enticar (have i spelt that right?) are not very common now primarily because Australia is the driest continent in the world and simply cannot afford the water to care for these courts when more efficient surfaces exist.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Any comments on Wimbledon so far?

I think Murray will win it on the men´s side and on the womens side it will be one of the Williams sisters like so often.

Germany has still two players in the field. Haas plays now a Russian. He is currently on a high and i hope he qualifies for the QFs.

Our last hope in womens draw is Lisicki. She has never won a single match on grass before Wimbledon. She has beaten the winner of the FO and will play a young Dane. Everything is possible, but i dont expect her to win.

I have to correct my very first post in this topic. Wimbledon gets much more than 2 hours coverage. It is only interrupted by the Confed-Cup and the U21-ECh. A very important tournament for the DFB. So far Germany has never this title. So we´ll see.

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