Australian GP rejects tennis joint venture

A move by Tennis Australia CEO Paul McNamee, the promoter of the Australian Open grand slam event in Melbourne, towards a joint venture with the city's F1 event, has been rejected by Ron Walker, his counterpart at Australian Grand Prix Corporation. Walker said: "We're not moving. We're staying in March. And they can stay in January. Like F1 drivers, tennis players get paid millions of dollars to entertain the public. If they're inconvenienced, so be it."

Australian GP rejects tennis joint venture

Walker returned from a world tennis conference in Lausanne, Switzerland, with permission to move the tournament forward two months, on the basis that the players would have more time to prepare, and there would be an opportunity for a joint promotion for the Victorian city with the F1 race in Albert Park. "If our event was back-to-back with F1 in some form, the world focus on Melbourne would be unprecedented," he told local media.

Walker responded to the effect that he had not been briefed on the concept, and he warned that corporate Australia would not embrace two major sporting events in a month. Walker said: "Melbourne doesn't need to 'get on the map' as McNamee puts it. It's already on the map, because of all the events we've put on in the past decade."

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