The History of the Australian Open
Tennis fans and bettors will be looking forward to the start of the Australian Open – a tournament that has a vibrant and rich history – with some of the best players in the world having lifted the title. Here we look at the history of the Australian Open.
The Australian Open takes precedence over the other three grand slams as it is the first of the year.
THE ORIGINS OF THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN TENNIS
The history of the Australian Open dates all the way back to 1905, the beginning of the tournament, held at the Warehouseman’s Cricket Ground, Melbourne.
Originally, the tournament was known as the Australasian Championships for several years, before being rebranded as the Australian Championship. However, it wasn’t until 1969 that it became known as the Australian Open. Although the tournament is exclusive to Australia, there has been the odd occasion where it has been played outside of the country – for example, the tournament has twice been played in New Zealand – the most famous of which happened in 1912. The initial idea was that the tournament would be played in different cities, including Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Brisbane, but it was later decided that it would remain in Melbourne as the sole host city.
The main reason behind this decision was that it proved to be the only city that could consistently attract a large crowd. In 1972, it was decided that the Open would have more than 140,000 spectators – but after it moved to Melbourne Park in 1999, it reached new heights. The move to Melbourne Park saw attendance jump an astonishing 90% – almost immediately.
Historically, the Australian Open has been held in January. However, in 1977, the tournament was held twice in one year – for the one and only time. This was because there was a shift in the tournament draw – and the move of the subsequent tournament to December. This meant that there were two tournaments in one year. The December schedule remained in place until 1987, after which it returned to January again.
THE MOVE TO MELBOURNE PARK
The tournament took a new direction in 1988 when they moved away from grass courts. Up until that point, the tournament had only ever been played on grass. The grass was replaced with blue hard courts and these have now become a signature of the Australian Open tournament.
As with all the grand slams and major tournaments, the Australian Open has been won by a select number of stars on numerous occasions. The current reigning hero, up until 2021 – after his controversial fall from Australian tennis grace, was Novak Djokovic. He has won the title a total of six times. This is a record that he shares with Roy Stanley Emerson. Before Djokovic made it to superstar status, Emerson was the record holder for many years. He won all of his titles in six consecutive years, from 1963 onwards. His unparalleled domination of the tournament led to his being dubbed the ‘legend of the Australian Open’.
The main stadium and central court at Melbourne Park are named after Rod Laver – the eleven-time Grand Slam winner who is often called the greatest player in the history of tennis.
THE STRUCTURE OF THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN
The Australian Open is a straightforward Grand Slam that involves seeding and qualification. The qualification event will be played a few days before the main tournament starts. This is when the odds are out – and this is when you can also probably find the best value odds for the tournament winner.
As soon as the qualification phase is done, the start of the singles rounds will begin. This is the start of the knockout phase of the tournament – up until the quarter-finals, then the semifinals and finals. During this time, the doubles games will also take place. Friday is usually the beginning of the men’s singles semi-finals, with the men’s final scheduled for Sunday.
However, the final for the women’s tournament normally takes place on Saturday and the women’s doubles final happens on Friday – the same day as the men’s semi-final. This makes it the first final of the entire tournament.
The men’s final and the men’s doubles final come at the very end of the tournament. 2000 points in total are then awarded to the winner of their event – and this is irrespective of gender. The men’s finalist receives 1200 points and the women’s finalist receives 1300 points. There is a similar points structure in the doubles game. The immense number of points up for grabs is one of the main reasons that the Australian Open is so popular with players and fans alike.
There are numerous exciting matches in the Australia Open, but the most-watched and popular amongst tennis fans and sports betting fans is the men’s singles finals. Money will be flowing to see which superstar can add their name to the historical list of winners.