Opening Week at Australian Open 2024 just got a whole lot bigger with the star-studded line up of four charity matches revealed.
World No.1 Novak Djokovic, fellow defending AO champion Aryna Sabalenka, returning AO champion Naomi Osaka, world No.2 Carlos Alcaraz, Alex de Minaur, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Maria Sakkari and Casper Ruud will wow fans in four showstopping charity matches from Tuesday 9 to Friday 12 January.
The matches are part of the expanded AO Opening Week presented by Herald Sun, giving fans more opportunities to get up close to their favourite stars and all the Grand Slam action.
Kicking off the program on Tuesday, January 9 is Naomi Osaka, two-time Australian Open winner with a total of four Grand Slam titles to her name. Naomi will return to Rod Laver Arena for the first time since becoming a mother. Her opponent for the charity match will be announced soon.
On Wednesday, January 10, Spanish young-gun Carlos Alcaraz will take on Aussie No.1 Alex de Minaur in what promises to be an epic matchup.
On Thursday, January 11, Rod Laver Arena will host ‘A Night with Novak and Friends,’ with 10-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic. Novak will present a tennis celebration alongside world No. 6 and AO 2023 finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas, fellow AO 2023 champion and world No.2 Aryna Sabalenka and world No. 8 Maria Sakkari. A number of other special surprise guests will join in the fun.
The final charity match on Friday, January 12, will see Carlos Alcaraz return to centre court to take on another of the sport’s young rising stars, world no. 11 Casper Ruud.
Tickets for all charity matches are now on sale and priced from just $20. Proceeds from the matches will support a range of children’s charities through the Australian Tennis Foundation which has provided more than 49,000 opportunities for disadvantaged kids to play and belong.
“Coming back to the Australian Open and to Rod Laver Arena, where I’ve achieved my greatest success, is always very special,” Djokovic said.
“I’m very excited to be part of Opening Week and to host this wonderful event to raise money for children in need, a cause very close to my heart.
“I’d like to invite all the tennis fans in Melbourne to come out and support us, and I promise that along with Stefanos, Aryna and Maria, and some surprise guests, we’ll all have a lot of fun.”
In 2022, the Australian Tennis Foundation launched the Brighter Days program which gives kids facing challenging life circumstances and their families a fun and engaging day out at the tennis.
“We have an incredible line-up of stars taking to the court to entertain fans and support kids in need during AO Opening Week, presented by the Herald Sun,” Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley said.
“We have a proud history of bringing the local tennis community and the world’s top players together to support and raise much needed funds for causes close to their hearts and to disadvantaged communities. The proceeds from these matches will make a significant contribution to a range of children’s charities through the Australian Tennis Foundation.
“For the very first time we are producing four spectacular nights of tennis action and entertainment leading into the Australian Open, another way we are bringing fans closer to the action than ever before.
“Imagine being able to get tickets down the front of Rod Laver Arena to see our defending champions, Novak Djokovic and Aryna Sabalenka, 2023 finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas, rising star Carlos Alcaraz, our own Alex de Minaur and former AO champs Naomi (Osaka) and Caro (Wozniacki) for as little as $20 – it’s just incredible.
“I can’t think of a better way to kick off AO 2024, and our exciting Sunday start, than showcasing these fantastic players on our biggest stage and for a great cause during AO Opening Week.”
Along with the charity exhibition matches, AO Opening Week presented by Herald Sun offers fans a unique opportunity to experience Grand Slam tennis up close with unprecedented access to the top players. Activities include:
- AO practice matches presented by Herald Sun
- AO Opening Week Fan Zone player interviews presented by Herald Sun
- AO qualifying
- Kids Tennis Day presented by Emirates.