The Australian Open’s director, Craig Tiley, has said that he would be happy to recognise Novak Djokovic’s accomplishments if a stadium or other facility were to be dedicated in his honour.
Novak Djokovic is the most successful singles star in the history of the Australian Open, but Tiley doesn’t have the ability to change the name of the Melbourne Tennis Centre.
The Australian Open leases the courts and stadiums and doesn’t hold the naming rights. As things stand, the arenas within the tennis centre are named for Australian tennis legends Rod Laver and Margaret Court.
“You’re the second person who’s asked me that today,” Tiley said on the latest episode of the ‘Rock n Roll Tennis’ podcast.
“Look, I mean, ultimately the naming of the arena is not my decision or tennis Australia’s because we….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.
“Yeah, the government, they do a great job on the pre-synched and uh.. 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. So naming of an arena would be a combination of input that would have to happen. But I would be certainly a supporter of recognising Novak in some way, unbelievable achievements here in Australia,” Tiley concluded.
The Australian Open director admitted that their organisation would love to have expanded control over the facility and the ability to stage tennis events in Melbourne Park more often.
“So sometime in September, December we move in, we roll out everything for the event and by the middle of February we move out and then right after a year it’s run by a trust for concerts and all that. So you don’t see these tennis courts in the stadium. We wish we did own it because we think we could have some more creativity on running more tennis events throughout a year,” Tiley added.
Djokovic won his tenth Australian Open singles title earlier this season, extending his dominance in an event that he missed in 2021 under controversial circumstances.
His success in Melbourne is the pillar of his claims to being the greatest of all time.