Report: ESPN ratings down for Australian Open men’s, women’s finals

Mike Frey-USA TODAY Sports

Even Novak Djokovic’s successful bid for his 10th Australian Open men’s singles title and a record-tying 22nd Grand Slam championship couldn’t help with television ratings.

ESPN averaged 439,000 viewers — the least-watched men’s final in at least a decade, according to the Sports Business Journal.

Djokovic, seeded fourth but assumed to be the No. 1 player in the world rankings with the victory, defeated third-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5) on Sunday in Melbourne.

The Serbian is now tied with Rafael Nadal of Spain for the men’s record of 22 Grand Slams. And the 35-year-old did it with a muscle tear in his left hamstring, according to tournament director Craig Tilley.

Regardless, the straight-set victory shown from 3:30-7:30 a.m. ET, drew 36 percent fewer viewers than the 2022 final, when Nadal defeated Daniil Medvedev in five sets (689,000 from 3:30-9:40 a.m.).

The news wasn’t much better for the women’s final on Saturday morning, when Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus defeated Elena Rybakina of Kazakhastan in three sets. The match drew 379,000 viewers, down 21 percent for Australian Ash Barty’s straight-sets victory over American Danielle Collins in 2002.

The fifth-seeded Sabalenka’s 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 win came in her first Grand Slam final.

The 2023 event was the first as part of a new nine-year contract between ESPN and Tennis Australia, the Sports Business Journal reported.

–Field Level Media

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