Melbourne VIC, Australia, 2 December 2014 | Tennis Australia

At the beginning of another highly anticipated summer there is good news on the weather front for tennis fans.

Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley today joined meteorologist Bob Leighton to preview a spectacular fortnight of world-class tennis at the Australian Open this January.

“It’s not going to be as hot as January this year, and we don’t expect a heat wave,” Bob Leighton said.

“At this stage it’s looking like a normal summer, perhaps slightly warmer, with only one day hitting around 40 degrees, and little or no rain forecast.”

The addition of a third retractable-roof stadium, the stunning new-look Margaret Court Arena, has effectively ‘weather-proofed’ the Australian Open, and in line with the new facilities the Australian Open heat policy has been updated to ensure conditions are fair for all players.

“The heat policy, as always, will be applied at the Referee’s discretion,” Craig Tiley said today.

“The decision on implementing the heat policy will take into account the forecast once the ambient temperature exceeds 40 degrees Celsius, and the Wet Bulb Global Temperature (WBGT) reading exceeds 32.5.

“When conditions exceed these levels the Referee is taking into account the forecast and state of play when making his discretionary call. We’ve been gathering data for a number of years now and the forecast process is more sophisticated than ever before.

“We believe this update will clarify and streamline the communications process for both players and support staff. We’ve consulted the playing group and this is seen as the fairest way to implement the policy by many of the top players.”

The other major difference from previous years is that matches currently in progress will continue until the end of an even number games in that set or completion of tie break.  At the completion of the even number of games in that set or completion of tie break, play will be suspended.

“The Australian Open is the only Grand Slam with three-retractable roof stadiums, so it’s important to update our policies to reflect the new infrastructure and conditions the players compete in,” Tiley said.

We are incredibly fortunate to have such fantastic facilities and fans will enjoy the amazing atmosphere of MCA, which is ticketed this year, and increased access to Hisense on a Ground Pass.”

Australian Open Fast Facts:

  • Australian Open 2009 was the warmest event on record, with the average daily maximum 34.7°C, nine degrees above normal
  • The coolest Australian Open was in 1986, when the maximum temperature averaged just 22.5°C, 3.5 degrees below normal
  • On 29 January, 1963, 108mm of rain fell on Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club, making it the wettest day in Australian Open history
  • Fans at Australian Open 2015 are expected to consume more than 200,000 bottles of Mount Franklin water and 150,000 ice creams.