The Australian Open will start on a Sunday in 2024, becoming a 15-day event in a bid to reduce the pressure on players and fans of late-night finishes.

Calls have been growing to limit the finish times in a crowded schedule at the season-opening grand slam event in Melbourne.

Five-time finalist Andy Murray this year played a near six-hour, five-set marathon against Thanasi Kokkinakis that did not reach its conclusion until past 4am, the former world No.1 describing the finish time as “ridiculously late”.

The 2024 tournament has been scheduled to run from January 14-28.

The Sunday start will increase the number of sessions on Melbourne Park’s three showpiece courts – Rod Laver Arena, Margaret Court Arena and John Cain Arena – from 47 to 52.

Day sessions on Rod Laver and Margaret Court will feature a minimum of two matches, rather than three as previously, to limit the potential for late finishes.

Night sessions will continue to feature a minimum of two matches.

Tournament director Craig Tiley said the changes had come about after listening to feedback from players and fans to limit late finishes.

“The additional day will achieve this, benefiting scheduling for fans and players alike,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.

“The first round will now be played over three days instead of two.”

Source: AAP