Rumours of Melbourne Park losing grand slam not true

Tennis

As the Novak Djokovic saga rolls on, one of the world’s leading tennis journalists has emphatically shot down the doomsday scenario of Australia losing its cherished Grand Slam event.

Ben Rothenberg was responding to a Politico article with the headline ‘Why Australia is paralysed over deporting Novak Djokovic.’

The piece explored the complexities of the Djokovic saga, including the subhead ‘The fate of the Australian Open.’

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“While the Grand Slam is contracted to be held at Melbourne Park into the foreseeable future, the tournament’s director, Craig Tiley, has repeatedly warned its future isn’t necessarily guaranteed, particularly as a result of the pandemic,” it read.

But the well connected Rothenberg wasn’t having a bar of it on Twitter.

The allure of money aside, a rival tournament wouldn’t have the prestige of grand slam status. Yet that’s not a result worth concern, according to Rothenberg.

“No there’s not,” Rothenberg wrote of there being a chance Australia could lose the Open.

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“This has long been a Craig Tiley talking point, but there’s absolutely no reason to think that the Australian Open, a pillar of tennis for more than 100 years, could ever be poached.

“This has been a hollow Tiley scare tactic to obtain greater funding. Don’t fall for it.”

The tournament was first held all the way back in 1905, 117 years ago, and was only stopped during World Wars I and II.

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