Victoria Azarenka’s Late-Night Australian Open Glory Irks Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert As They Bash the Tournament

Published 01/23/2023, 12:58 AM EST
SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE – OCTOBER 29: WTA Legend Ambassadors Chris Evert (L) and Martina Navratilova of the United States attend a press conference during day 7 of the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore at Singapore Sports Hub on October 29, 2016 in Singapore. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova are not happy with the night schedule timings at the Australian Open. But why? The late-night matches are turning out to be a nightmare, as matches are running past two or four in the morning. It’s definitely a marathon roller coaster taking place on the Melbourne courts. However, the tennis legends have something to say regarding this weird timeline. 

It was almost two in the morning when the two-time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka entered the quarter-final after battling for 2 hours and 40 minutes against Zhu Lin. And on the other hand, Andy Murray finished his marathon contest at 4 in the morning. 

Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova question the late-night finishes


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Unlike the French Open or the Wimbledon, the other two Grand Slam tournaments, the Australian Open and the US Open go late into the night. Subsequently, it feels like a lot of tennis players and fans are not happy with the late night schedule which wraps up at 2 or 3 AM. 

After watching two-time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka make her way into the quarter-finals at midnight, the 18-time Grand Slam champion, Chris Evert, took to her Twitter account to raise the concern while asking the biggest question regarding the weird night schedule. She tweeted, “Watching Azarenka and Zhu… what other sports, if any, compete at 2:30 am???

On the other hand, the 59-time Grand Slam champion replied to a fan who talked about how it doesn’t matter for the wealthy professional athletes but to the other people and fans. To which the Czech–American former tennis player wrote, “Do you know any other sport that starts this late? The ball kids can take the day off. The winning player can’t. Really lousy logic by you…”


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She bashed the fan for his biased views. Not only that, Navratilova also showed her concern for Andy Murray’s late night match that ended at four in the morning. 

Navratilova disappointed after Murray’s late night victory 

The first Grand Slam tournament of the year recently witnessed a close to 6-hour match where the three-time Grand Slam champion, Andy Murray, defeated the Australian tennis player, Thanasi Kokkinakis, to enter the third round of the tournament. Despite being an amazing and epic match, the match schedule and timings irked the American tennis legend. 


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After the match, the 59-time Grand Slam champion showed her disappointment towards the weird schedule. And additionally, she talked about how the Australian Open management should look into creating better rules regarding the weather and the timings for future matches.



Pratishtha Prakash

593 articles

Pratishtha Prakash is a Tennis writer at EssentiallySports. She has completed her Bachelor’s degree in Mass Media and Journalism from MIT ADT University, Pune. In the past, she has interned at the sports desk of The Hitavada, a regional English daily newspaper.

Edited By: Tony Thomas