Australian Open News: First Nations Day Changed in Honor of Tennis Legend Evonne Goolagong Cawley

Published 01/25/2024, 7:09 AM EST

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Evonne Goolagong Cawley is a historic player for the Australian Open. The 72-year-old won four Aussie Grand Slams during her prime after playing in seven finals. The former player was honored in the tournament recently as she was invited to the court before the WTA semifinals began. Cawley was not only honored with the invitation, but the Australian Open also made a landmark change to ensure her legacy in the tournament.

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Cawley has been ever present in the recent years of the Australian Open. The WTA legend has made a deep impact on the tournament and its followers and is now being recognized for her contributions, years after her retirement.

Evonne Goolagong Cawley honored by Tennis Australia

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Since the Open Era, Evonne Goolagong Cawley has won four Australian Open titles, tying with Margaret Smith Court in women’s tennis. To properly pay an ode to the WTA legend, Tennis Australia invited her to a ceremony where they showed their appreciation for her contributions on the 50th Anniversary of her first Australian Open win. 

Tonight we were honoured to welcome 4x champion Evonne Goolagong Cawley onto Rod Laver Arena to celebrate the 50th anniversary of her 1974 #AusOpen victory. Further, to ensure her remarkable legacy lives on, future First Nations Days will be known as Evonne Goolagong Cawley Day.” The First Nations Day, which has been the center of contentious discussion, has been renamed for her. 

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Happy with the conclusion, some fans asked for her to be immortalized even more in the tournament. In the comment section of the post, some said that she should have an arena named after her in the first slam of the year.

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Fans call for the second-largest arena in Melbourne Park to be renamed

The Margaret Court Arena is a stadium in Melbourne Park which is active till round four of the Australian Open. Since it is named after Margaret Smith Court, who is a highly controversial figure, many have sought a change in the name. Watching Goolagong Cawley be honored by the tournament, some have called for the tournament to rename the Margaret Court Arena to the Evonne Goolagong Cawley Arena.

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John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova famously led a protest during the 2020 Australian Open to have the name of the Margaret Court Arena changed. They also demanded that the name of the arena be the Goolagong Cawley Arena, honoring the four-time Aussie champion. Social media continues to see the opposition of the Court. However, will it finally make an impact on the organizers of the Australian Open?

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Written by:

Ripunjay Gaba

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The Swiss Maestro Roger Federer?s influence on tennis is undeniable, and I certainly have the 20-time Grand Slam champion to thank for my foray into the wonderful racket sport. Unsurprisingly, throughout my time at ES, I have specialized in providing in-depth coverage of everything related to the 'Swiss Maestro' and have authored more than 1000 articles to date. Now, I specifically focus on creating profiles for all the top stars, along with stables that focus on both their professional and personal exploits.
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Edited by:

Arunima Bhanot

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