Tag Archives: Grand Slam

Sony Sports receives phenomenal response from advertisers for Australian Open 2022

Sony Sports Network, the official broadcaster of the Australian Open 2022, has received a fabulous response from the advertisers from across various sectors for this year’s edition of the Grand Slam.

Notably, the year’s first Grand Slam event — Australian Open 2022, will begin on January 17, 2022 which will be aired live on Sony Sports Network and brands like Lenovo, Amul, Kia Motors, and LIC have come on board as sponsors for the showpieve event.

Other advertisers like Skoda, Total Oil, Ford, Go Mechanic, Mercedes, Dafa News, Fairplay News, 1X News, Netmed and Apple have also jumped on the bandwagon before the start of one of the best Grand Slams in tennis – Australian Open 2022.

Notably, Sony Sports Network will broadcast the Australian Open 2022, live on SONY SIX, SONY TEN 2, SONY TEN 3 and SONY TEN 4.

Tennis fans across India will now be able to watching stellar competition between top seeded players in Hindi on SONY TEN 3 channels and in English on SONY SIX, SONY TEN 2 and SONY TEN 4 channels as well as livestreamed on its on-demand OTT platform, SonyLIV.

As part of the holistic programming initiative, Sony Sports Network will bring the best action from Melbourne Park and provide in-depth insights on their live studio show, EXTRAAA SERVE which will be hosted by Arpit Sharma and Sarthak Lal.

Meanwhile, former tennis players like Somdev Devvarman, Purav Raja and Gaurav Natekar will feature as expert panelists on EXTRAAA SERVE along with on-ground reporter Adriano Del Monte. The Hindi commentary on SONY TEN 3 channels will be provided by Manish Batavia, Atish Thukral and Gaurav Natekar.

Notably, Australian Open 2022 will see participation from top Indian players like Rohan Bopanna and Sania Mirza. The once-celebrated mixed doubles pair of the nation, Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna, will be playing in this year’s tournament and will look to make the nation proud on the international tennis arena.

This edition of the Grand Slam will also witness the 100th anniversary of women’s competition at the Australian Open.

Commenting on the development, Rajesh Kaul, Chief Revenue Officer, Distribution and Head – Sports Business, Sony Pictures Networks India said: “Australian Open is the first and most competitive tennis Grand Slam of the calendar year as it sees participation from the best tennis players from across the globe. There is already a lot of talk about the tournament amongst the advertisers as we have received tremendous response from various sectors like tech, automobile, FMCG and more.”

“We aim to showcase and bring real-time action from the courts and this year with our Hindi and English feeds along with our studio show, EXTRAAA SERVE that will also take the tournament to a wider audience in India,” he added.

Djokovic might miss Australian Open after Victoria bans unvaccinated players

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic could miss to defend his title at the Australian Open and bid for the Grand Slam record after the state of Victoria has said that no athlete, who has not been fully vaccinated, will be allowed to compete in the Australian Open in January 2022.

On the other hand Djokovic has refused to reveal his Covid-19 vaccine status which casts doubt over his participation at the Australian Open.

On Wednesday, Federal Immigration Minister Alex Hawke confirmed the state’s ruling. “The government, in establishing its borders, has said that you’ll need to be double vaccinated to visit Australia,” Hawke said during an interview with ABC News.

“That’s a universal application, not just to tennis players. I mean that every visitor to Australia will need to be double vaccinated,” he added.

On the other hand, Daniel Andrews, the Victorian Premier, also said that no exemptions would be made for anyone.

“(The virus) doesn’t care what your tennis ranking is, or how many Grand Slams you’ve won. It’s completely irrelevant. You need to be vaccinated to keep yourself safe and to keep others safe,” he said on Tuesday.

“The state of Victoria, where the grand slam event takes place in Melbourne, has introduced a vaccine mandate for professional athletes, although authorities have not yet clarified what the requirement will be for those coming from abroad,” he had added.

Earlier this month, Andrews had announced that vaccination would be mandatory for all domestic professional athletes.

Djokovic meanwhile, refused to reveal his vaccination status saying: “Things beings as they are, I still don’t know if I will go to Melbourne.”

“I will not reveal my status, whether I have been vaccinated or not. It is a private matter and an inappropriate inquiry. People go too far these days in taking the liberty to ask questions and judge a person. Whatever you say, ‘yes’, ‘no’, ‘maybe’, ‘I am thinking about it’, they will take advantage,” Djokovic told the online edition of Serbian daily Blic.

Notably, Djokovic has won the Australian Open, which is the opening grand slam of the year, a record nine times, including the last three editions.

“I am following the situation regarding the Australian Open and I understand the final decision (on COVID-related restrictions) will be made in two weeks. I believe there will be a lot of restrictions just like this year, but I doubt there will be too many changes.” said Djokovic.

“My manager, who is in contact with the Australian Tennis Federation, tells me they are trying to improve the conditions for everyone, both for those who have been vaccinated and those who have not,” he added.

Significantly, Serbia’s Djokovic is tied with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on a record 20 Grand Slam titles.

He has however said that he has plans to compete in the Paris Masters, the season-ending ATP Finals in Turin and the Davis Cup before the end of 2021.

On the other hand, Tennis Australia, which organises the Australian Open, is yet to comment on the entire issue.

Wimbledon finals to accomodate full crowd at Centre Court

The upcoming edition of the Wimbledon will allowed to have a full crowd of 15,000 at Centre Court for the men’s and women’s finals, scheduled to be held in July, the British government has announced.

The grass-court Grand Slam was cancelled entirely in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic

Wimbledon, which begins June 28, is likley to have fifty percent crowds towards the beginning while it will be allowed to have a full house by July 10-11.

In a statement, the British government’s Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “We want to gather further evidence on how we can open up all big events safely, and for good.”

“In the next few weeks this means more fans enjoying the Euros and Wimbledon, and some of our biggest cultural and sports events,” he added.

Significantly, the government has decided to ease the Covid restrictions on crowds. The move is expected to increase the attendances at the ongoing Euro championship and Wimbledon.

French Open players to be allowed an hour of daily freedom outside social-distancing bubble

French Open organizers announced on Wednesday that players competing at the clay-court Grand Slam event will be allowed a daily one-hour window outside their social-distancing bubble.

Guy Forget, French Open Director, said players will have the chance to get out for a jog or enjoy some fresh air during their stay in Paris and insisted competitors are “extremely aware of the danger” caused by the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Forget also said the players won’t be put under surveillance.

“Our goal is not to put them in a necklace and attach them to their hotel or to the Roland Garros stadium,” Forget said.

Significantly, for the second consecutive year in a row the traditional French Open schedule has been disrupted by the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic as it was initially scheduled to start on May 23 but will now start on May 30.

Similarly, the 2020 edition of the event was pushed back to September because of the pandemic with crowds limited to 1,000 per day.

Australian Open postponed to February 8 due to coronavirus pandemic

After weeks of negotiations, the Australian Open has been pushed back to February 8 on Thursday due to the coronavirus pandemic. Doha will host the men’s qualifiers while a series of build-up events including the flagship ATP Cup will be held in Australia, the men’s ATP Tour said as it announced its early 2021 schedule.

The coronavirus had its effect on other Grand Slams too as the Wimbledon was canceled for the first time since World War II, the French Open was postponed and the US Open had to be carried out behind closed doors.

Melbourne Park, the tournament’s venue, is likely to allow fans in the stadium as the coronavirus is under control in Australia. However, the players will have to serve a 14-day quarantine period.

Confirmation of the February 8-21 dates follows protracted talks between Tennis Australia and state authorities in Melbourne, which emerged from a months-long lockdown in October following a second wave of Covid-19.

Players will now arrive in Australia from January 15 and will have to spend two weeks in a bio-secure bubble. According to earlier reports, the players would stay at designated hotels but would be allowed five hours to practice and exercise, mixing it up between their accommodation and Melbourne Park.

Tennis Australia did not provide any immediate confirmation of the arrangements.

According to the ATP, the men’s qualifiers will be held from January 10-13 in Doha following which the players and limited support staff will travel to Australia.

A slimmed-down, 12-team ATP Cup, the relocated Adelaide International, and an ATP 250 tournament will all be held in Melbourne ahead of the Slam which is now scheduled from February 8-21.

With the WTA yet to announce its early schedule, there was no notice on where the women will play their qualifiers. It is expected that Melbourne will also host the WTA tournaments before the Open.

‘Health and safety paramount’

ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi said, “The reconfigured calendar for the start of the 2021 season represents a huge collaborative effort across tennis, under challenging circumstances.”

“Health and safety will continue to be paramount as we navigate the challenges ahead, and I want to thank everyone involved for their commitment to finding solutions to launch our 2021 season.” he added.

World number one Novak Djokovic is expected to be back and hunting for his ninth Australian Open title. He overcame Austria’s Dominic Thiem in a brutal five-setter earlier this year.

However, Swiss legend Roger Federer’s presence is still in doubt as he is recovering from two rounds of knee surgery.

Sofia Kenin, the reigning women’s champion, is expected to defend her crown after defeating Spaniard Garbine Muguruza in three sets earlier this year.

Australian Open boss Craig Tiley was expecting the crowd at Melbourne Park to be somewhere between 25 to 50 percent of normal capacity. However, now that the coronavirus is under control in Australia, there is a possibility of raising the numbers if there are no more community transmissions of Covid-19.

Roland Garros confirms three-week schedule in September-October

French Tennis Federation has announced revised dates for the Roland Garros 2020 Grand Slam.

Top tennis star will this year not get enough time for transition from the acrylic courts of Flushing Meadows in New York to the red clay of Rolland Garros in the French Capital.’

Shortly after the United State Tennis Association has announced that the New York governor has given a go ahead for the US Open, Rolland Garros also confirmed the September 21 to October 11 dates for the clay court Grand Slam

“The Roland Garros tournament will be played across three weeks,” the organiser French Tennis Association has announced after discussions with the international tennis authorities – the ATP, WTA and ITF.

The 124th edition of the last Grand Slam of the year was originally scheduled from May 24 to June 7 had to be postponed twice due to the COVID-19 pandemic. France, among the worst COVID-19-affected nations with 1.58 confirmed cases and nearly 30,000 deaths, has earlier announced the September 20 to October 4 dates for the tournament, which had to be deferred by one more week.

“We are delighted that our discussions with the various international tennis authorities have allowed us to extend the 2020 edition of the Roland-Garros tournament to three weeks. In the current, difficult climate, we are well aware that it is a privilege to be able to hold Roland-Garros in its usual format. Especially since the qualifying tournament will help to financially support a category of professional players who have been severely affected by this unprecedented crisis. The responsible decision we made on 17th March to postpone the Roland-Garros tournament – the climax of the clay season – until the autumn means that the 2020 clay season can be saved, providing the current situation continues to improve. The Roland-Garros tournament is thus fulfilling its historic role as the clay-court world championships. The tournament in autumn 2020 will be a new chapter in Roland-Garros’ ongoing history,” explained Bernard Giudicelli, President of the FFT.

The additional week is kept to start the qualifying event from September 21.

After the decision to postpone the Roland-Garros tournament to 20th September – 4th October and the ensuing discussions with the international tennis authorities, the new international schedule drawn up by the ATP, WTA and ITF has granted the Roland-Garros tournament an extra week of competition. This way, the qualifying rounds will be played from September 21 to 25 and will be followed by the main draw from September 27 to October 11, Rolland Garros has reported on the official tournament website.

The French Tennis  Federation is now working with the French Government to prepare for the tournament and set out suitable measures that will ensure the health and safety of all people present. All options will be considered and are susceptible to change.

Also read: New York governor gives go ahead for US Open