Andy Murray defeats Thanassi Kokkinakis in six hour epic; Stefanos Tsitsipas v Tallon Griekspoor; Kateryna Baindl v Jeļena Ostapenko; Sebastian Korda v Daniil Medvedev; Magda Linette v Ekaterina Alexandrova draw, schedule, scores, odds, how to watch


Tennis Australia chief executive Craig Tiley believes there is little Australian Open organisers can do to avoid finishes like the 4am conclusion to Andy Murray and Thanasi Kokkinakis’ second-round match earlier this morning.

Tiley told Today the combination of requiring multiple night matches for broadcasters and weather delays for extreme heat and rain in the first four days of the event set the stage for the late finish which was exacerbated by the six-hour match which began soon after 10pm Thursday.

Tennis legend Martina Navratilova tweeted this morning that the sport needed better rules for weather and for start and cut-off times.

“It is extremely difficult,” Tiley told Today.

“There are so many variables. Over the last few days we have had extreme heat, we’ve had over five breaks of rain, we’ve had cold and those are…it’s Melbourne but don’t often get those conditions in such a short period of time.”

The Australian Open has always had matches which finish late including last year’s men’s final which was won by Rafael Nadal after five long sets and Tiley said it was hard to account for which contests could run long and which run to time.

“We’ve had three late nights with scheduling trying to catch up with matches but generally a women’s match is about an hour and a half and a men’s match is a little over two and a half hours, that’s majority of the length of matches and you work your schedule around that,” Tiley said.

“Then you are going to have an out-of-the-box situation where, like last night, it goes extra long unexpectedly.

“That happens every year. There is always one that goes five or six hours and it is hard to schedule the entire event around the potential that happens one time.

“You’ve also got to protect the matches. If you just put one match at night and there’s an injury you don’t have anything for fans or broadcasters.

Tiley also pointed out that players like Kokkinakis and women’s star Jessica Pegula were highly rated in both singles and doubles so played in multiple events at the Open, further straining their schedule.

“They choose to play extra events, there is always going to be a situation where you have to back up quickly,” Tiley said.

“At this point, there is no need to alter the schedule. We always look at it when we do the debrief like we do every year, at this point we’ve got to fit the matches in the 14 days so you don’t have many options.”