Melbourne VIC, Australia, 7 October 2014 | Tennis Australia

Australian Open 2015 promises to be even more player and fan-friendly.

The Grand Slam players have nicknamed “the Happy Slam” today unveiled a beautifully refurbished Margaret Court Arena to now boast three-retractable roof stadiums, which will ensure play can continue regardless of weather conditions.

> All Australian Open 2015 tickets are on sale now

“We are determined to continually push ourselves to new heights in terms of facilities, service and the overall experience for players and fans,” Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley said at today’s official tournament launch.

“We want to make the Happy Slam even happier.”

Initiatives for Australian Open 2015 include:

  • a 10 per cent increase in player prize money
  • a winner’s cheque of $3 million
  • 9600 seats in Hisense Arena now available to ground pass holders
  • a special Rafael Nadal charity event at Margaret Court Arena on Wednesday 14 January
  • Margaret Court Arena (7500 seats) ticketed for day and night sessions for the first eight days of the tournament
  • a “People’s Court” to give fans an authentic Australian Open playing experience.

Tennis Australia President Steve Healy officially welcomed media and special guests to the launch and the first look at the new Margaret Court Arena.

Living legend Margaret Court made a surprise on-court appearance for the first match in the new arena, pairing up with Victorian Sports Minister Damian Drum for a hit of mixed doubles against teenage tennis sensation Nick Kyrgios and Australian Fed Cup representative Storm Sanders.

“Thanks to the Victorian Government we have an incredible new tennis facility. Just like the Australian living legend it is named after, this venue is world class and does Australian tennis proud,” Mr Healy said.

The court already holds special memories for Kyrgios, whose breakthrough 2014 all started at MCA when he pushed the then world No.28 Benoit Paire to a thrilling five sets in front of an enthusiastic home crowd.

Other initiatives for next January include:

  • a host of top players to be involved in a Kids Tennis Day extravaganza
  • David Hall to be inducted into the Australian Tennis Hall of Fame
  • an Australia Day tribute to Margaret Court on Margaret Court Arena
  • Martina Navratilova to return to the event on the 30th anniversary of her win in 1985 to present the women’s trophy
  • more shade, extra seating and better areas for fans to move across the site
  • eleven additional food and beverage outlets at Margaret Court Arena
  • a brand new flagship Australian Open Shop located in the Margaret Court Arena undercroft
  • an upgraded version of the hugely popular Social Shack, with more opportunities to get closer to the players
  • Neale Fraser to be honoured at a special Legends Lunch on the final Saturday.

> All Australian Open 2015 tickets are on sale now