Australian Open has been in the news of late, for the incorporation of ten point tie-breakers in the final set of both, women’s as well as men’s matches. While the rule has received flak from a lot of players and fans, the tournament has eventually pushed through the change and also introduced a bunch of other changes, for 2019.
The prize money bifurcation for the first matches will be as follows: Any Main Draw singles player who is not fit to play or withdraws before the draw, will eventually receive 50 per cent of his/her first-round prize money whereas the ‘lucky loser’, who will replace the withdrawn player will receive the remaining 50 per cent of the money.
In the year of 2017, the Grand Slam Board had ordered and made clear their intentions to limit the amount of seeds to 16 rather than of 32 in 2019. However, this rule change has been deemed unnecessary and has been discarded for the time being, and 2019 Grand Slams will proceed with 32 number of seeds.
Due to the increasing number of withdrawals in the first round of the grand slam tournament, any player who withdraws or performs below professional standards during any first-round singles match at a Grand Slam tournament will be fined.
Time between serves will be increased from 20 seconds to 25 seconds at the Grand Slam events from 2018 and it will be strictly adhered to by following a shot clock, that will be displayed on the court-side, visible to the players and the chair umpire.
Organizers have proposed a “more extensive” extreme heat policy after the temperatures in the shade approached over 40 degrees Celsius during the 2018 tournament. Thus A 10-minute break has been incorporated for the women’s as well as junior singles, and a 15-minute break for wheelchair singles as well.
For the main draws, under the new policy, if a reading hits 4.0 on the Australian Open Heat Stress Scale, during any men’s singles match, a 10 minute break will be allotted for the players after the third set’s completion.