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Australian Open director, Craig Tiley, has revealed that there is a possibility that a stadium could be named after Novak Djokovic following his success in the country. The Serb won his 10th Australian Open title earlier this season to make him one of the most decorated players in the history of the competition.
Djokovic wrote himself into tennis’ history books, once more, earlier this year when beating Daniil Medvedev in the US Open final to secure his 24th Grand Slam. The victory means that the 36-year-old is now the joint-most successful tennis star, with Margaret Court retiring on as many titles.
After shutting down retirement speculation, Djokovic has confirmed that he will be hoping to break make the record his own in 2024 when travelling to Melbourne for the Australian Open. If he is triumphant, it could further justify claims that he should be recognised for his accomplishments by having a court, as some fans have called for.
Asked about whether there is a possibility that a Djokovic renaming could occur, Australian Open chief Tiley told the Rock n Roll Tennis podcast: “You’re the second person who’s asked me that today. Look, I mean, ultimately the naming of the arena is not my decision or Tennis Australia’s.
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“A lot of people don’t really understand the Wimbledon and the French and the US Open, they own the facility in which they run their events. We lease it and the government, the Victorian Government, owns our facilities and we lease the facilities from them and we are fortunate that they invest in those facilities, but we don’t own them.”
Tiley then went on to reveal that he would support a move that saw Djokovic’s career recognised, explaining: “The government, they do a great job on the pre-synched and it’s a great pre-synched infrastructure the government’s put together, it’s magnificent. But yeah, it’s a different construct to the other event.
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“So the naming of an arena would be a combination of input that would have to happen. But I would be certainly a supporter of recognizing Novak in some way, unbelievable achievements here in Australia.”
It remains to be seen whether Djokovic can take his Grand Slam tally to 25 upon his return to Melbourne and whether such a historic moment will be the deciding factor for the Australian government to make a significant change, or if a shock defeat will put the recognition on pause until further down the line, potentially when he hangs up his racket for the final time.
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