Rolex and Tennis: Hopes High for the 2024 Season as Players Prepare for the Australian Open

published: Dec, 14, 2023

by: TC Staff

Geneva, 14 December 2023 – With legends of the sport announcing emotional returns and talented future stars eager to make their mark against established champions, the 2024 tennis season is full of promise. It all starts at next month’s Australian Open, which will begin a day earlier in an historic first for the event, running from Sunday 14–Sunday 28 January. Rolex became Official Timekeeper of the season-opening Grand Slam® tournament in 2008 as part of its relationship with tennis that dates back more than 40 years. During this time the Swiss watchmaker has championed tennis tradition and the quest for perfect movement at some of the world’s most renowned sporting theatres.

Former World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki is set to continue her comeback, returning to Melbourne Park – the scene of her maiden Grand Slam® title – for the first time since having two children. The 2018 Australian Open winner and a Rolex Testimonee for more than a decade, Wozniacki says:

“I can’t wait to be back in Australia and to take my family to a place that means so much to me. Lifting the trophy in 2018 is something I will never forget and the Rolex Daytona I wore that day is a constant reminder of this incredible moment. Returning as a mother is going to be a very emotional and unforgettable experience.”

Fellow members of the Rolex family of Testimonees joining Wozniacki in the women’s singles draw include new mother and 2016 champion, Angelique Kerber, and four-time Grand Slam® winner, Iga ?wi?tek. The 22-year-old phenomenon arrives in Australia after reclaiming the World No. 1 ranking following her impressive triumph at the 2023 season-ending GNP Seguros WTA Finals Cancun. In the men’s singles, Jannik Sinner will be aiming to maintain his momentum, having reached the final of the Nitto ATP Finals and guided Italy to victory in the Davis Cup, while Stéfanos Tsistipás will strive to go one better at the event where he had a spectacular run to the final last January.

Australian Rod Laver, one of the game’s all-time greats who claimed three of his 11 career Grand Slam®singles titles at his own national championships, says:

“It will be interesting to see how the new group of players go into the competition and if they’re ready to accept their chance to win the big tournaments under pressure.”

Each year, Laver returns to Melbourne to witness extraordinary displays of technical precision and skill that define the highest levels of tennis today and play out on the eponymously named Rod Laver Arena. 2024 will mark 55 years since the tennis legend and Rolex Testimonee became the first and only player in the professional era to achieve the men’s calendar Grand Slam® – his second overall, having achieved the feat as an amateur in 1962. Reflecting on this milestone Laver, adds:

“Your career is all about how well you play tournaments and perform in the important moments. Looking back at that time, it felt like the whole sport was evolving and there for the taking. It’s enormously humbling to be in the record books as the only player to have won the Grand Slam twice. It means a great deal to me.”

As part of its long-term commitment to tennis, Rolex recognizes not just heroes of the past but those of the present as they push the boundaries of performance and human endeavour on court. Two such players are Carlos Alcaraz and Coco Gauff, who were both victorious in Grand Slam® tournaments in 2023. In July, Spanish prodigy Alcaraz lifted the men’s singles trophy at The Championships, Wimbledon, before Gauff won on home soil at the US Open in September to claim her first Grand Slam® title. Gauff says:

“Winning the US Open was a crazy feeling – one that I had never felt before and I don’t think I will ever feel again. I had dreamt of winning a Grand Slam and the moment was even better than I could have ever imagined. For sure, my goal next year is to win another, and to represent Rolex and women’s tennis at the same time is a huge honour. I’m always looking forward to the next challenge and can’t wait to return to Melbourne as a Grand Slam champion.”

The Australian Open has roots dating back to 1905, and transitioned from grass courts to hard courts in 1988. The forthcoming edition marks the start of Rolex’s support for the 2024 international tennis calendar, from the four Grand Slam® tournaments to leading 1000 events on both the men’s and women’s tours. With the greatest achievements often determined by the finest margins, the tennis world eagerly awaits a new year full of potential and new stories, as the players return from the off-season reinvigorated and ready to get their campaigns off to the best possible start.

ROLEX TESTIMONEES WHO HAVE WON THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN

Rod Laver (1960*, 1962*, 1969)
Chris Evert (1982, 1984)
Stefan Edberg (1985, 1987)
Jim Courier (1992, 1993)
Roger Federer (2004, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2017, 2018)
Justine Henin (2004)
Li Na (2014)
Angelique Kerber (2016)
Caroline Wozniacki (2018)
* Previously known as Australian Championships in the amateur era.

TC Staff

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