Friday, December 1st, 2017...4:08 pm

Australian Open

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The Australian Open is the first championship of the year for Grand Slam tournaments. It begins in January at Melbourne. The first time the tournament was held was in 1905 and has women’s singles, men’s singles, women’s doubles, men’s doubles, mixed doubles, junior championships, and even wheelchair events. In 1988, the area switched from grass courts to hardcourts and eventually in 2007 switched to plexicushion. The Australian Open is known for having the highest attendance compared to all Grand Slam championships.

The tournament finally became a major championship 19 years after it was first held. Before the tournament was held in Melbourne, up until 1972 it was held in Kooyong and people wanted it moved to a more populated city. By 1988, people had finished building the Park and it was officially moved to Melbourne.




Before airplanes were common, foreign players had a hard time travelling to Australia for the tournament in the early 20th century. If people were travelling from Europe, it would take them about 45 days to reach Australia. By 1946, the US players started travelling to Australia by boats. Even people living in Australia had a hard time travelling to the tournament if they were on the opposite side of the city.

Before Melbourne Park stadium was created, the tournament dates changed since there was no retracting cover available. Dates would go from late December to early January or even early March depending on the weather. When the retracting cover was built, the date was decided on early January.

Later in 2008, New South Wales wanted to have hosting rights for the tournament after the contract expires in Melbourne in 2016. With enough bids, the plans were approved and with about $363 million in renovations of the New South Wales tournament area, they won the bid. The venue is not meant to change until at least 2036.




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