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Page last updated at 10:34 GMT, Saturday, 17 May 2008 11:34 UK

Aussie Open moves women's final

Night view of Melbourne Park during the Australian Open
Both singles finals at Melbourne Park now have later starts

The Australian Open women's final will be played at night from next year, tournament officials have announced.

The match has traditionally been played on a Saturday afternoon but is being switched to the evening after the men's final in Melbourne was moved in 2005.

The move has been backed by Australian Open champion Maria Sharapova.

"The atmosphere at Melbourne Park at night is great, and cooler conditions allow the players to really produce their best," said the Russian.


"I think this move will further showcase a great sporting event and is good for both players and fans."

Tournament director Craig Tiley said: "We have been thinking about a night final for the women ever since the men's night final proved such an outstanding success.

"Our research has shown that the Australian tennis public would prefer the women's singles final to be played at night."

Tilley added the move was expected to attract a bigger television, radio and internet audience and had been approved by the Women's Tennis Association (WTA).

see also
Aussie Open day 13 photos
26 Jan 08 |  Tennis
Night final for Aussie Open
05 Oct 04 |  Tennis

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