A year ago, at their annual meeting in Melbourne, the leading men’s tennis players were angrily discussing the possibility of boycotting the Australian Open.
At this year’s meeting, Craig Tiley, the tournament director, and Steve Wood, Tennis Australia’s chief executive, received a standing ovation.
“That was a level of appreciation I’ve never seen before from the players toward a Grand Slam,” said Justin Gimelstob, a player representative on the ATP’s board of directors. “You can argue the how and why, but right now, as of this date, this is the only place where the players feel like they are truly heard.”
Melbourne Park, the site of the Australian Open since 1988, is in the midst of its latest growth spurt. It will soon have a third stadium with a retractable roof. Wimbledon has one, and the United States Open and the French Open have none.