Australian Open may switch to new date
MELBOURNE, Australia (Ticker) - The Australian Open could move to a March date, according to Tennis Australia president Geoff Pollard.
Pollard told the Melbourne Herald Sun on Friday that the switch from January would make sense for the health of tennis worldwide.
"We're happy with January, but if you look at ideals, it's hard to say it should stay in January," Pollard said.
Australian Open chief executive Paul McNamee has admitted he has received a good response from international broadcasters to the idea of a switch.
"You have to have an open mind. It's bold, maybe ambitious, but it's good to look at it," McNamee said.
However, one concern is that if the Grand Slam tournament is pushed back two months it will clash with the Melbourne Grand Prix, and Grand Prix Corporation chairman Ron Walker will fight "tooth and nail" to stop the move from happening.
"You can't have a Grand Prix, a Moomba (an annual Australian festival), an air show, the tennis and the football starting in one month," Pollard said.
A decision will be made within the next 12 months, but no switch could occur until 2007.
03-21-03 19:39 ET