The Australian Open is one of the four Grand Slam events to be held in a calendar year. The tournament is held in Melbourne in the last fortnight of January. The tournament was first held in 1905 as the Australian Champions and was the largest sporting event in the Southern Hemisphere.
The Grand Slam features a variety of men's singles, women's singles, mixed doubles, wheelchairs, legends and more. The tournament is coordinated and managed by Tennis Australia.
The 2022 Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament will be held in Melbourne Park from January 17 to 30. The Australian Open will be the 110th, 54th in the Open Era and the first Grand Slam of the year.
The tournament will include singles, doubles and mixed doubles competitions for professional players. Junior and wheelchair players will compete in singles and doubles. Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka are the previous winners in the men's singles and women's singles, respectively.
1) History of the Australian Open
The Australian Open Grand Slam was first played in 1905. The Australian Open was known as the Australian Championship until 1969. The tournament was later renamed the Australian Open.
The Australian Open used to be held in different cities in Australia. But since 1987 it has been decided to hold the tournament in Melbourne. Notably, the Australian Open was held in New Zealand in 1906 and 1912.
Foreign players did not participate in the Australian Open until 1946. However, as the popularity of the tournament increased, so did the number of foreign players participating in the tournament. Some of the most recognized players in the tournament are Rod Laver, Margaret Smith and Roy Emerson.
2) Journey from grass court to hard court
When the Australian Open began in 1905, the tournament was played on grass courts. This tradition continued till 1987. However, since 1988, the competition has made its first change by introducing hard courts instead of grass courts.
Mats Wilder holds the record for being the only player to win a title on a grass court as well as a hard court. The tournament is currently played on Melbourne's Hisense Arena and Rod Laver Arena.
3) Winners of the Australian Open
Since the tournament's inception in 1905, the Australian Open has reached its peak. The Australian Open is known as a global platform for showcasing skills and talents in tennis.
The tournament has produced many champion players to date. Some of the notable male veterans include Kenneth Robert Rosewall, Roy Stanley Emerson, Matt Wilder, Rod Laver, Andre Agassi, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.
Leading female veterans include Margaret Smith, Nancy Wayne Bolton, Steffi Graf, Yvonne Gulagong, Thelma Coyne and Martina Hingis.
4) The longest running match in a Grand Slam tournament
The final match between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal at the 2012 Australian Open was the longest running Grand Slam match ever. Djokovic and Nadal have previously played in the 1988 US Open final against Mats Wilder and Ivan.
The record set by Lendl was broken. In this match, Djokovic-Nadal had clashed with each other for 5 hours and 53 minutes. In the end, Novak Djokovic won the match.
5) Other special things about the Australian Open
* Ken Rosewall is the youngest winner to win an Australian Open at the age of 18
* Margaret Court is the most frequently won female player in the Australian Open.
* Martina Higgins is the youngest female player to win the Australian Open at the age of 16.