22.5 million viewers for Osaka-Kvitova Australian Open final in Japan

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22.5 million viewers for Osaka-Kvitova Australian Open final in Japan

22.5 million viewers were tuned in at peak to watch the Australian Open women's final between Naomi Osaka and Petra Kvitova on Saturday last week. The Grand Slam raised a lot of ratings in Japan, drawing an average of 2.5m and 6m viewers respectively for Kei Nishikori and Osaka's matches.

The tournament director Craig Tiley was definitely satisfied with the numbers: "Naomi also has a huge fan base, as does Kei (Nishikori) and with only a two-hour time difference the Australian Open is Japan's 'home' Slam.

Achieving a 20m viewership on TV for any programme, in this age of media disruption, is extraordinary and an indication of how passionate the fans are about their local heroes. To put it into further context, the women's final was watched by more than double the average numbers of Japan's most watched weekly programmes."

The Acapulco Mexican Open Tournament Director Raul Zurutuza said Novak Djokovic is unlikely to play the event in late February. Djokovic is set to take a one month and a half break from the competition following his 15th Grand Slam title win at the Australian Open.

"There are small chances that Djokovic can come, I think that he will take a one-week rest before going to Indian Wells", said Zurutuza. Zurutuza also denied Dominic Thiem will play: 'Unfortunately with him we did not reach an agreement on our schedules."

'I do not like the new format. I wish the old format with home and far away ties comes back. The competition lost its value. I love staying here with the guys and play together in Germany against another country. I like it really a lot.'

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