Tiley hails amazing tournament

Australian Open tournament director expecting bumper crowds for final day of the tournament.

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley, Rafael Nadal and Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer Damien Meridith at the Kia fleet handover, 15 January 2017.

Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley is extremely excited by the men’s final featuring Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, and expects to hit a new crowd record for the final day of the event.

It has been an unbelievable story that only true romantics would have dreamt before the tournament began. After the dominance of Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic after the past year it did not seem fathomable that the pair would not make it into the second week of the tournament.

Tiley was also delighted that in the same weekend Federer and Nadal are entering battle in a major final, the Williams sisters squared off in the women’s decider.

“Well I mean I can’t remember a weekend at any tennis event at this point that you have the Williams play and then the next night is Rafa versus Roger,” he said.

“Tonight’s match has all the makings of an unbelievable match, these two have played very good matches against each other before.

“Rafa holds the head-to-head advantage, particularly in Grand Slam finals but a lot of it has been on clay, which is a different surface. So I think we’re in for an unbelievable night.”

Tiley expects the match to assist the tournament in surpassing all records that have been set in previous years on the final day of the event.

With Margaret Court Arena open to the public and the champion due to make an appearance inside the arena, Tiley expects the crowd numbers be sky high.

“Crowd numbers is going to be interesting because we are opening up the other arenas for people to come in and use their ground pass,” he said.

“They can enjoy Margaret Court Arena with the big screen and we also plan to have the champion walk through the arenas as well.

“It’ll be the biggest crowd for a finals weekend for sure and then from a global audience point of you we know last year 350 million people watched it and all the indicators that we have now show that it will surpass that number.

“So for an Australian Open final point of view, from a final point of view and for a stadium point of view I think it will be the biggest [final].”

Tiley says this men’s final will be the biggest in Australian Open history, and that the profiles and personalities of the two players are adored by the global community.

He believes that the work that they do off the court, as well as their playing careers, has enhanced their reputation greatly.

“I’ve been very fortunate to spend a lot of time with them and talk to them about the things they’ve been doing and these two men are special,” Tiley said.

“Their character is the best, they set the standard, not just in tennis but globally in sport with how good they are, with how they treat people. I don’t think there’s anyone on site that doesn’t love both of these men.

“Now two of the best in the world are playing against each other. We’ve got it so now let’s enjoy it.

“I believe this is going to be one of those moments where people that are watching it in the stadium and outside and around the world and say, I was there when this match took place.”

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