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The Australian Open is the first of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments held each year. The tournament is held each January at Melbourne Parkmarker. The tournament was held for the first time in 1905 and was contested on grass from then up to 1987. Since 1988, the tournament has been held on hard courts at Melbourne Park. Mats Wilander is the only male player to have won the tournament on both grass and hard courts.

Like all other Grand Slam tournaments, there are men's and women's singles competitions; men's, women's, and mixed doubles; and junior's and master's competitions.

The two main courts used in the tournament are Rod Laver Arenamarker and Hisense Arenamarker and feature retractable roofs, which can be shut in case of rain or extreme heat. The Australian Open and Wimbledonmarker are the only Slams with indoor play.

Held in the middle of the Australian summer, the Australian Open is famous for its notoriously hot days. An extreme-heat policy is put into play when temperatures (and humidity) reach dangerous levels.

The Australian Open typically has very high attendance, with the 2009 Australian Open achieving the highest ever single-day day/night attendance record for any Grand Slam tournament of 66,018. The event is worth around £38 million to the Australian economy.

In 2008, the Rebound Ace surface, which had been in place for the past 20 years at Melbourne Park, was replaced by a cushioned, medium-paced, acrylic surface known as Plexicushion Prestige. The main benefits of the new surface are better consistency and less retention of heat (because of a thinner top layer). This change was accompanied by changes in the surfaces of all lead-up tournaments to the Australian Open. The change was controversial, primarily because of the new surface's similarity to DecoTurf, the surface already being used by the US Openmarker.

The singles winners in 2009 were Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams. In men's doubles, the winners were Bob and Mike Bryan, and in women's doubles, the winners were Serena and Venus Williams - the very first time in history that both doubles titles had been won by siblings. In mixed doubles, the winners were Sania Mirza and Mahesh Bhupathi.

History

Margaret Court Arena at the Australian Open with the old Rebound Ace surface.
Rod Laver Arena, the centre court, in the background.
Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne Park, Melbourne.
The main location of play.
The Australian Open is managed by Tennis Australia, formerly the Lawn Tennis Association of Australia (LTAA), and was first played at the Warehouseman's Cricket Ground in St Kilda Road, Melbourne in 1905. This facility is now known as Albert Reserve Tennis Centre.

The tournament was first known as The Australasian Championships and then became the Australian Championships in 1927 and the Australian Open in 1969. Since 1905, the Australian Open has been staged in five Australian and two New Zealand cities as follows: Melbournemarker (54 times), Sydneymarker (17 times), Adelaidemarker (14 times), Brisbanemarker (7 times), Perthmarker (3 times), Christchurchmarker (in 1906), and Hastingsmarker (in 1912). In 1972, when it was decided to stage the tournament in the same city each year, the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club was selected because Melbourne attracted the biggest patronage.

Melbourne Parkmarker (formerly Flinders Park) was constructed in time for the 1988 tournament to meet the demands of the evolving tournament that had outgrown Kooyong's capacity. The move to Melbourne Park was an immediate success, with a 90 percent increase in attendance in 1988 (266,436) on the previous year at Kooyong (140,000).

Because of its geographic remoteness very few foreign players entered this tournament at the beginning. In the 1920s, the trip by ship from Europe to Australia took about 45 days. The first tennis players who came by aircraft were the U.S. Davis Cup players in November 1946. Even inside the country, many players could not travel easily. When the tournament was held in Perth, no persons from Victoria or New South Wales crossed by train, a distance of approximately 3,000 kilometres between the east and west coasts. In Christchurch in 1906, of a small field of 10 players, only two Australians attended, and the tournament was won by a New Zealander.

The first tournaments of the Australasian Championships suffered from the competition of the other Australasian tournaments, and before 1905 all Australian states and New Zealand had their own championships, the first being organised in 1880 in Melbourne and called the Championship of the Colony of Victoria (later became the Championship of Victoria). . In those years the best two players by far - the Australian Norman Brookes (whose name is now written on the men's singles cup) and the New Zealander Anthony Wilding - almost did not play this tournament. Brookes came once and won in 1911 and Wilding entered and won the competition twice (1906 and 1909). Their meetings in the Victorian Championships (or at Wimbledon) were the summits that helped to determine the best Australasian players. Even when the Australasian Championships were held in Hastings, New Zealand, in 1912, Wilding, though three times Wimbledon champion, did not come back to his home country. It was a recurring problem for all players of the era. Brookes went to Europe only three times, where he reached the Wimbledon Challenge Round once and then won Wimbledon twice. Thus, many players had never played the Austral(as)ian amateur or open championships: the Renshaws, the Dohertys, William Larned, Maurice McLoughlin, Beals Wright, Bill Johnston, Bill Tilden, René Lacoste, Henri Cochet, Bobby Riggs, Jack Kramer, Ted Schroeder, Pancho Gonzales, Budge Patty, Manuel Santana, Jan Kodes and others, while Brookes, Ellsworth Vines, Jaroslav Drobny, Manuel Orantes, Ilie Năstase at 35 years old, and Björn Borg came just once.

Beginning in 1969, when the first Australian Open was held on the Milton Courtsmarker at Brisbane, the tournament was open to all players, including professionals who were not allowed to play the traditional circuit. Nevertheless, except for the 1969 and 1971 tournaments, many of the best players missed this championship until 1982, because of the remoteness, the inconvenient dates (around Christmas and New Year's Day), and the low prize money — in 1970 the National Tennis League (NTL), which employed Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall, Andres Gimeno, Pancho Gonzales, Roy Emerson and Fred Stolle, prevented its players from entering the tournament because the guarantees were insufficient, and the tournament was ultimately won by Arthur Ashe.

In 1983, Ivan Lendl, John McEnroe, and Mats Wilander entered the tournament. Wilander won the singles title, and subsequently both his Davis Cup singles rubbers in the Swedish loss to Australia at Kooyongmarker shortly after. Following the 1983 Australian Open, the International Tennis Federation prompted the Lawn Tennis Association of Australia to change the site of the tournament, because the Kooyong stadium was then inappropriate to serve such a big event, and in 1988 the tournament was first held at Flinders Park (later renamed Melbourne Park) on Rebound Ace.

Before the Melbourne Park stadium era, tournament dates fluctuated as well, in particular in the early years because of the climate of each site or exceptional events. For example, just after World War I, the 1919 tournament was held in January 1920 (the 1920 tournament was played in March) and the 1923 tournament in Brisbane took place in August when the weather was not too hot and wet. After a first 1977 tournament was held in December 1976 – January 1977, the organisers chose to move the next tournament forward a few days, then a second 1977 tournament was played (ended on 31 December) but this failed to attract the best players. From 1982 to 1985, the tournament was played in mid-December, then it was decided to move the next tournament to mid-January (January 1987), thus there was no tournament in 1986. Since 1987, the Australian Open date has not changed. However, some top players, including Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, have said that the tournament is held too soon after the Christmas and New Year holidays, thus preventing players from reaching their best form, and expressed a desire to shift it to February.

Another change of venue was proposed in 2008, with New South Walesmarker authorities making clear their desire to bid for hosting rights to the tournament once Melbourne's contract expires in 2016. The proposed relocation is to Glebe Island in Sydney. In response, Wayne Kayler-Thomson, the head of the Victorian Events Industry Council, was adamant that Melbourne should retain the event, and, in a scathing attack of the New South Wales authorities, said, "It is disappointing that NSW cannot be original and seek their own events instead of trying to cannibalise other Australian cities." Since the proposal was made, a major redevelopment of Melbourne Park has been announced, which is expected to run into the hundreds of millions of dollars. Melbourne Park will include ugraded and increased seating in major venues, a roof over Margaret Court Arena, improved player facilities, a new headquarters for Tennis Australia, and a partly covered "town square" area featuring large televisions showing current tennis play.



Recent attendances



Trophies and prize money

Names of the winners are inscribed on the perpetual trophy Cups.

  • The Women's Singles winner is presented with the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup.
  • The Men's Singles winner is presented with the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup.


In 2009, the prize money awarded in the men's and women's singles tournaments was equal and distributed as follows:
  • 1st Round: A$19,400
  • 2nd Round: A$31,000
  • 3rd Round: A$51,000
  • 4th Round: A$88,000
  • Quarterfinalists: A$182,250
  • Semifinalists: A$365,000
  • Runners-up: A$1,000,000
  • Winners: A$2,000,000 (approx GBP£981,700; approx EUR€1,134,200; approx US$1,607,000)


Champions

Main articles listed by event:

Current champions

File:Nadal Australian Open 2009 2.jpg|Rafael Nadal is the defending Men’s champion, after beating Federer in 2009, for his first title. This is his sixth slam singles title of his career, and first on a hard court surface.File:Serena Williams Australian Open 2009 2.jpg|Serena Williams is the defending Women's champion, after beating Safina in 2009, for her fourth title and tenth slam singles title of her career. She will go onto later in the year and win her second slam title in the season at Wimbledon.File:Bob Bryan at the 2009 Wimbledon Championships 01.jpg|Bob Bryan part of the winning Men's doubles team in 2009 for the third time. This is the seventh slam men's doubles title for his career.File:Mike Bryan at the 2009 Wimbledon Championships 01.jpg|Mike Bryan part of the winning Men's doubles team in 2009 for the third time. This is the seventh slam men's doubles title for his career.File:Serena Williams Australian Open 2009 2.jpg|Serena Williams part of the winning Women's doubles team in 2009 for the third time and her 8th women's doubles title of her career. During 2009, she would go onto win two more women's doubles slams at Wimbledon and the US.File:Venus at us open 2009-cropped.jpg|Venus Williams part of the winning Women's doubles team in 2009 for the third time and her 8th women's doubles title of her career. During 2009, she would go onto win two more women's doubles slams at Wimbledon and the US.File:Sania Mirza 2007 Australian Open womens doubles R1.jpg|Sania Mirza part of the winning Mixed doubles team in 2009, this was her first slam title in her career.File:Mahesh Bhupathi 2007 Australian Open mens doubles R1.jpg|Mahesh Bhupathi part of the winning Mixed doubles team in 2009, which was his second mixed title at the slam. This is his seventh mixed slam title for his career.
Event Champion Runner-up Score
2009 Men's Singles Rafael Nadal Roger Federer 7–5, 3–6, 7–6(3), 3–6, 6–2
2009 Women's Singles Serena Williams Dinara Safina 6–0, 6–3
2009 Men's Doubles Bob Bryan
Mike Bryan
Mahesh Bhupathi
Mark Knowles
2–6, 7–5, 6–0
2009 Women's Doubles Serena Williams
Venus Williams
Daniela Hantuchová
Ai Sugiyama
6–3, 6–3
2009 Mixed Doubles Sania Mirza

Mahesh Bhupathi
Nathalie Dechy

Andy Ram
6–3, 6–1


Records

Unlike the other three Grand Slam tournaments, which became open in 1968, the Australian tournament opened to professionals in 1969. Thus, the records here break at the 1969 tournament. Citations for these records.

Record Open Era* Player(s) Count Years
Men since 1905
Winner of most
Men's Singles titles
Before 1969: Roy Emerson 6 1961, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967
After 1968: Andre Agassi 4 1995, 2000, 2001, 2003
Winner of most
consecutive
Men's Singles titles

Before 1969: Roy Emerson 5 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967
After 1968: Ken Rosewall

Guillermo Vilas

Johan Kriek

Mats Wilander

Stefan Edberg

Ivan Lendl

Jim Courier

Andre Agassi

Roger Federer
2 1971, 1972

1978, 1979

1981, 1982

1983, 1984

1985, 1987

1989, 1990

1992, 1993

2000, 2001

2006, 2007
Winner of most
Men's Doubles titles
Before 1969: Adrian Quist 10 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950
After 1968: Mark Edmondson 4 1980, 1981, 1983, 1984
Winner of most
consecutive
Men's Doubles titles

Before 1969: Adrian Quist 10 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950
After 1968: Mark Edmondson
Kim Warwick

Mark Edmondson

Rick Leach
Jim Pugh

Fabrice Santoro
Michael Llodra

Bob Bryan
Mike Bryan



2 1980, 1981

1980, 1981

1983, 1984

1988, 1989

1988, 1989

2003, 2004

2003, 2004

2006, 2007

2006, 2007
Winner of most
Mixed Doubles titles -
Men

Before 1969: Harry Hopman
Colin Long
4 1930, 1936, 1937, 1939
1940, 1946, 1947, 1948
After 1968: Jim Pugh 3 1988, 1989, 1990
Winner of most
Championships (total:
singles, men's doubles,
mixed doubles) - Men


Before 1969: Adrian Quist 13 1936-1950 (3 singles, 10 men's doubles, 0 mixed doubles)
After 1968: Mark Edmondson
Jim Pugh
Rick Leach

5 1976-1984 (1 singles, 4 men's doubles)
1988-1990 (2 men's doubles, 3 mixed doubles)
1988-2000 (3 men's doubles, 2 mixed doubles)

Women since 1922
Winner of most
Women's Singles titles
Before 1969: Margaret Court 7 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966
After 1968: Margaret Court

Evonne Goolagong Cawley

Steffi Graf

/ / Monica Seles

Serena Williams
4 1969, 1970, 1971, 1973

1974, 1975, 1976, 1977

1988, 1989, 1990, 1994

1991, 1992, 1993, 1996

2003, 2005, 2007, 2009
Winner of most
consecutive
Women's Singles titles

Before 1969: Margaret Court 7 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966
After 1968: Margaret Court

Evonne Goolagong Cawley

Steffi Graf

/ / Monica Seles

Martina Hingis
3 1969, 1970, 1971

1974, 1975, 1976

1988, 1989, 1990

1991, 1992, 1993

1997, 1998, 1999
Winner of most
Women's Doubles titles
Before 1969: Thelma Coyne Long 12 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1951, 1952, 1956, 1958
After 1968: / Martina Navrátilová 8 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1989
Winner of most consecutive
Women's Doubles titles
Before 1969: Thelma Coyne Long

Nancye Wynne Bolton
5 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940

1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940
After 1968: / Martina Navrátilová
Pam Shriver
7 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1989
1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1989
Winner of most
Mixed Doubles titles -
Women

Before 1969: Daphne Akhurst Cozens

Nell Hall Hopman
Nancye Wynne Bolton

Thelma Coyne Long
4 1924, 1925, 1928, 1929

1930, 1936, 1937, 1939
1940, 1946, 1947, 1948

1951, 1952, 1954, 1955
After 1968: Jana Novotná

Larisa Savchenko Neiland
2 1988, 1989

1994, 1996
Winner of most
Championships (total:
singles, women's doubles,
mixed doubles) - Women


Before 1969: Nancye Wynne Bolton 20 1936-1952 (6 singles, 10 women's doubles, 4 mixed doubles)
After 1968: / Martina Navrátilová 12 1980-2003 (3 singles, 8 women's doubles, 1 mixed doubles)
Miscellaneous
Youngest winner Men's singles: Ken Rosewall 18 years and 2 months (1953)
Men's doubles: Lew Hoad 18 years and 2 months (1953)
Women's doubles: Mirjana Lucic 15 years and 10 months (1998)
Women's singles: Martina Hingis 16 years and 4 months (1997)
Oldest winner Men's singles: Ken Rosewall 37 years and 8 months (1972)
Men's doubles: Norman Brookes 46 years and 2 months (1924)
Women's doubles: Thelma Coyne Long 37 years and 7 months (1956)
Women's singles: Thelma Coyne Long 35 years and 8 months (1954)
Mixed doubles (men): Horace Rice 52 years (1923)
Mixed doubles (women): Martina Navratilova 46 years and 3 months (2003)


References



External links




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