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By Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Thursday, February 15, 2024

The Happy Slam is considering a finals flip. 

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley is considering a radical and historic finals shift.

More: Richard Evans Q&A

The AO chief is weighing moving the Australian Open women's final to the final Sunday night of the tournament and shifting the men's final, which traditionally closes the AO, to Saturday night.

AO officials began discussing the potential shift during since the tournament's debrief and are currently considering the change, the Australian Associated Press's Darren Walton reports.

Traditionally, women's Grand Slam finals are played on the final Saturday followed by the men's final on Sunday.

So why would the Australian Open tip tradition?

Three reasons the AO is considering this major schedule shift, according to the AAP report:

1. Increasing fans, decreasing late-night finishes

2. Television

3. Spotlighting women's tennis.

Australian officials have actively tried to reduce the prospect of late-night finishes.

Jannik Sinner rallied from two sets down to defeat Daniil Medvedev 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 in last month's Australian Open men's final to capture his maiden major title.

The three hour, 44-minute men's final meant some Aussie fans, who had to be up early for work on the following Monday morning, went to bed with the lanky Italian down in the match on Sunday night only to wake-up to the news of Sinner's comeback conquest.

Moving the men's final to Saturday night would means if the men's final is a marathon—five of the last eight AO men's final have gone the five-set distance—it would not present the problem for most fans of having to turn off tennis and wake-up early for work the next day.

The move, if approved, would mean the AO men's final would air late Friday night/early Saturday morning East Coast time on ESPN in the United States.

Since the women's final is best-of-three-sets, even if the final went the distance, it would likely wrap by 11 p.m. Melbourne time if played on a Sunday.

Additionally, the Australian Open would be completely unique as the only one of the four Grand Slam tournaments to play the men's final on a Saturday and women's final on a Sunday, spotlighting women's tennis on the final day of the tournament.

The Australian Open would not need approval from the ATP or WTA to make the move—remember the AO debuted as a 15-day tournament last month without requiring the Tours' approval—though the tournament will consult with the players if it makes the change, the AAP reports.

Tournament director Tiley, who has been open to change during his tenure, says all options are on the table, according to the AAP.

Photo credit: Robert Prange/Getty