Craig Tiley hits by controversy: now he wants to reduce the length of matches

The CEO of Happy Slam has proposed an idea to ensure that tennis players can finish the evening session at a decent time, after the controversy of the 2024 edition

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Craig Tiley hits by controversy: now he wants to reduce the length of matches
© Daniel Pockett / Stringer Getty Images Sport

At the Australian Open 2024 there was a lot of controversy regarding the tournament schedule and the timing of the matches, which, in some cases, ended late at night. The Happy Slam CEO Craig Tiley has been hit by a wave of controversy over the management of the tournament and some controversial decisions, which have led to some players having to finish their matches past midnight.

The debate over the length of tennis matches comes to the fore every now and then. During Grand Slam tournaments there are sometimes very long matches with a best of 5 sets. And naturally we return to talking about attempts to shorten the duration of matches by trying to intervene on the rules and modify some game situations.

Craig Tiley and Aryna Sabalenka
Craig Tiley and Aryna Sabalenka© Cameron Spencer / Staff Getty Images Sport

This fact would naturally also affect the too late conclusion of the evening sessions which often extend into the late hours of the night. The latest proposal in order to try to reduce the duration of the matches and consequently the conclusion of the evening sessions late at night comes from Tiley.

In an interview with ABC News, in which he took stock of the first Grand Slam tournament of the season a few hours after its conclusion, Tiley launched a proposal that is certainly not new but certainly destined to start a debate.

Craig Tiley's idea

Let's start from the beginning. Medvedev-Ruusuvuori at the recent Australian Open was one of the matches that ended later this year, in the fifth set and at almost 4am Australian time.

Tiley highlighted that to prevent these episodes from happening in tennis, the removal of LETs on the serve should be considered. The director of the Australian Open points out that the fact that there is a let on serve has added about 15 hours to the tournament adding all similar situations.

In fact, if this proposal were to pass, a ball on the serve that touches the tape and ends up in the service area would be good, exactly as happens today with any other shot during the rally. Tiley underlined that he will bring his proposal to abolish LET to all decision-making bodies.

Tiley added: "We cannot start the evening session before 7pm, it is not possible to predict the length of the first match, there will be further adjustments next year to avoid cases of matches ending so late but there will always be exceptional and unpredictable situations."

Craig Tiley