Australian Open 2018: When is the draw and what changes have been introduced for opening grand slam?

Telegraph Sport
The Telegraph
Rod Laver Arena is gearing up for another fortnight of drama in Melbourne - Getty Images AsiaPac
Rod Laver Arena is gearing up for another fortnight of drama in Melbourne - Getty Images AsiaPac

What is it?

It's the draw for the opening grand slam of the season, the Australian Open 2018.

When is it?

Well, traditionally the draw is made on the Friday before the tournament begins but this year they have brought it forward by 24 hours which means it will take place on Thursday, January 11.

What time will it be in the UK?

It will be at the convenient time of 8am.

Why have they brought it forward by a day?

This year they are televising the draw and is open to fans to attend. It will take place on the Margaret Court Arena with Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley keen to push the tournament in new ways.

“We’re going to give it a go," he said.

Australian Open 2018 | Key information for first grand slam of year

“We’re gonna to have Tie Break Tens on Wednesday night, the draw on Thursday night and there’s another event we’re going to announce for Friday pretty soon."

Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova will be among the star-studded players and personalities present as well as tennis legend Todd Woodbridge who will be on hand to offer his reaction.

What if a player withdraws before the draw begins?

Following a spate of mid-match withdrawals at last year's slams, this year's Aussie open will offer unfit players who withdraw before the draw 50 per cent of the prize money. A lucky loser from qualifying would receive the other half of the first-round prize pot.

<span>A shot clock will be used for first time at Australian Open</span> <span>Credit: Getty Images </span>
A shot clock will be used for first time at Australian Open Credit: Getty Images

What else is new for the Aussie Open?

Player will get an extra five seconds between points, rising to 25 seconds. A shot clock will be visible to police whether players go over their allowance. The idea was trialled successfully at last year's US Open.

Players must also be going through their warm-ups within a minute of walking out on court. They must also be ready to play within a minute of the warm-up session concluding. 

What's the prize money for Melbourne?

Australian Open 2018 prize money

Who are the top seeds?

The 32 seeds in the men and women's singles for the opening slam follow the current rankings on the ATP and WTA tours. 

 

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