Here are the interesting facts about Australian Open
World's top tennis stars are set to compete at this year's first Grand Slam, the Australian Open. The prestigious hard-court tournament will kick off on January 17 at Melbourne Park. It will be the 110th edition of the tournament. Novak Djokovic (men's) and Naomi Osaka (women's) are the defending champions in the singles category. Here, we decode some interesting facts about the Australian Open.
Why does this story matter?
- The Australian Open is a tennis tournament that is held annually in January as the year's first Grand Slam.
- It precedes the French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open.
- The showpiece tennis tournament in the Southern Hemisphere comprises matches across several categories (men's singles, women's singles, and mixed doubles).
- The matches are played outdoors on hard courts.
Australian Open (Australasian Championships) was first held in 1905
The Australian Open was first held as the Australasian Championships in 1905 at the Warehouseman's Cricket Ground in Melbourne. Tennis Australia (formerly known as formerly the Lawn Tennis Association of Australia) renamed the tournament as Australian Championships (in 1927) before it became the Australian Open in 1969. Notably, the tournament was not played as a major championship until 1924.
Youngest Grand Slam tournament
The Australian Open is the latest Grand Slam championships among others (1969). Wimbledon (The Championships), introduced in 1877, remains the oldest Grand Slam tournament, followed by the US Open (1881) and French Open (1891).
Ken Rosewall is the youngest and oldest champion (men's singles)
Australia's Ken Rosewall became the youngest man to win the Australian Open in 1953 (18 years and two months). He defeated Mervyn Rose 6-0, 6-3, 6-4 in the grand finale. Interestingly, Rosewall is also the oldest champion at this Slam (37 years and two months). He beat Malcolm Anderson 7-6(2), 6-3, 7-5 in the 1972 final (men's singles).
The longest Australian Open match
World number one, Novak Djokovic, won the Australian Open in 2012. He defeated Spain's Rafael Nadal 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7(5), 7-5 in what turned out to be an enthralling final. The match lasted 5 hours 53 minutes, making it the longest in the Australian Open (Open Era). Djokovic won his third Australian Open title, his third major in a row.
Trophies received by men's and women's champions
The men's singles champion of the Australian Open is awarded the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup. A former Australian tennis player, Brookes, won the Australian Championships in 1911. He also won Wimbledon in 1907 and 1914. Meanwhile, the women's singles champion receives the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup. Daphne Akhurst was an Australian tennis player, who won the Australian Championships five times (women's singles).