Australian Open news: Crowds increased to 80 per cent for the finals

Australian Open
Ashleigh Barty celebrates victory

The Australian Open finals over the weekend will see the crowd increased from 65 per cent capacity to 80 per cent, the Australian government announced on Friday.

On Wednesday the Australian Open had its spectator capacity lifted to 65 per cent up from 50 per cent since the start of the two weeks.

The finals will see home favourite Ashleigh Barty lock horns against American Danielle Collins on Saturday night, before an all-Australian men’s doubles final.

The World No 1 becomes the first Australian woman to reach the final of her home Grand Slam for more than 40 years.

Barty knocked out Madison Keys 6-1 6-3 victory in only 62 minutes.

She is aiming to become the first Australian woman to win their home Slam since Chris O’Neill in 1978.

Barty heads into the clash on a 10-match win streak after taking the title at Adelaide this month — her 14th career crown starting in 2017 at Wuhan and Birmingham.

 

Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis will play against fellow countrymen Matt Ebden and Max Purcell at the Australian Open Men’s Doubles final at the Rod Laver Arena at Melbourne Park.

Rafael Nadal marched into the final of the Australian Open to be just one match away from becoming the all-time men’s Grand Slam leader after overcoming Matteo Berrettini in their semi-final on Friday.

The 35-year-old Spanish great, seeded sixth, was too solid for the Italian seventh seed, winning 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 in 2hr 55min, and will face either Daniil Medvedev or Stefanos Tsitsipas in Sunday’s final.

“For me it’s all about the Australian Open more than anything else, it’s an amazing event,” Nadal said.

“I have been a little unlucky during my career with some injuries and I played in some amazing finals here with some good chances against Novak in 2012 and Roger 2017, I was close a couple of times.

“I feel very lucky that I won once in my career in 2009, but I never thought about another chance in 2022.

“So I’ll just try to enjoy today’s victory and try my best in the final.”

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