Australian Open Tournament History
The Australian Open began in 1905. Held a far distance away from any other nation, it wasn't until the 1920's that many foreign tennis players would partake due to lengthy travel times. Thus, most of the early Australian Open champions hailed from Australia. The first champion was Rodney Heath.
Played on grass until 1987, the Australian Open recently switched surfaces to hard courts. Additionally, the Australian Open was held in different cities depending on the year including Sydney and Brisbane, as well as several times being held in New Zealand. In 1972, the Australian Open found a permanent home in Melbourne.
As the first Grand Slam tournament every year, the Australian Open is always a very competitive event, and helps players set the tone of an upcoming tennis season. Roy Emerson holds the most men's single titles with 6 earned in the 1960's, while Margaret Court managed a record 7 Australian Open titles during the same period.
Australian Open Location:
The Australian Open is held in Melbourne, Australia, a cultural hub often referred to as the "Garden City".
Australian Open Court:
The Australian Open is played at Melbourne Park on a hard surface court. The two main stadiums are the Rod Laver Arena, which holds a capacity of 14,820, and the Hisense Arena, which holds over 10,000 spectators. Both have retractable roofs to deal with the intense Australian summer heat.
Australian Open Traditions:
- The tennis players often visit the local zoos and take pictures with kangaroos.
- The Australian Open fans are known for creating a fun and friendly atmosphere that has led many to believe that tennis fans must make the trip "down under" at least once in their lives.
- Played in January, the Australian Open presents the first Grand Slam tournament every year.
Recent Historic Moments of the Australian Open:
- In 2015, Serena Williams claimed her 6th Australian Open Title by defeating Russia's Maria Sharapova. This win moves Williams ahead of legends Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova for 19 majors with only three shy of Steffi Graf's Open era record of 22.
- Djokovic wins his 5th Melbourne title at the 2015 Australian Open. Novak makes history by becoming the first ATP player in the open era to win the Australian Open five times.
- Li Na captured her second grand slam title at the 2014 Australian Open, while Stan Wawrinka won his first grand slam. Late 2014, Li Na announced her retirement from the WTA.
- 2013 saw repeat champions in both the men's and women's single tournaments as Novak Djokovic and Victoria Azarenka both successfully defended their 2012 titles.
- Andy Murray has been a runner up on four separate occasions, making the Australian Open a difficullt Grand Slam tournament for the British star.
- 2015 Men's Single: Novak Djokovic
- 2015 Women's Single: Serena Williams
- 2015 Men's Double: Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan
- 2015 Women's Double: Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Lucie Šafářová
- 2015 Mixed Double: Martina Hingis, Leander Paes
- 2014 Men's Single: Stanislas Wawrinka
- 2014 Women's Single: Li Na
- 2014 Men's Double: Lukasz Kubot, Robert Lindstedt
- 2014 Women's Double: Sara Errani, Roberta Vinci
- 2014 Mixed Double: Kristina Mladenovic, Daniel Nestor
- 2013 Men's Single: Novak Djokovic
- 2013 Women's Single: Victoria Azarenka
- 2013 Men's Double: Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan
- 2013 Women's Double: Sara Errani, Roberta Vinci
- 2013 Mixed Double: Jarmila Gajdosova, Matthew Ebden