1/29/13 8:50 PM | Johan Lindahl
The Australian Open is trying to find a way around the holiday fireworks displays, which traditionally disrupt key matches on Australia Day evening as the sky over Melbourne lights up - and forces a halt in play.
Not only is the loud, 10-minute pause disruptive to match momentum, it also leaves international television viewers puzzled.
Open officials have said they are seeking a solution with the Victoria state government, but there is so far not an inkling of how the vexing problem can be solved with satisfaction to both parties.
Last week's women's final between Li Na and Victoria Azarenka had to be halted a 9;40 p.m. as the skies over the riverside stadium in the heart of the sporting precinct lit up with colorful explosions.
Melbourne media reported a recent run of co-incidental bad luck in the wake of previous pauses. At this edition, Li fell and hit her head in the immediate resumption of play while in 2012 Roger Federer dropped 11 straight points to Rafael Nadal after the Big Bang was done.
"We are working with the state government to see what possibilities exist," tournament boss Craig Tiley told Melbourne's Age. "We've been talking about what's best, because we do want continuous play, but at the same time we want to recognize and celebrate Australia Day, so it's a bit (caught) between a rock and a hard place.
"If we can make both things work, and have a win-win for both, it would be great. Our preference would be that (the fireworks) don't disrupt the match.
"There's no rush, but we've just got to work through and see what the best options are. Our operations team is talking to the government, because we want Victorians and Australians to have the fireworks, and we want play to be continuous. So what that involves, I don't know."
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