Published 01/11/2016, 11:28 AM EST

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It’s that time of the year again when all the tennis fans out there eagerly await the start of the first Grand Slam, the Australian Open, rooting for their favorite players to clinch it.

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Here are some interesting facts about the first Grand Slam of the year.

  1. First Match Was Played at a Cricket Ground


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Surprised?  You might as well be. The first match of  the Australian Open, then known as the Australian Championship, was played at the Warehouseman’s Cricket Ground in 1905. Rodney Heath defeated fellow Australian Arthur Curtis in four sets to claim the inaugural title. The venue hosted the Australasian Championships under the auspices of the MCC and later the Lawn Tennis Association of Victoria a total of four times: in 1905, 1911, 1914 and 1924 – as well as the 1908 and 1912 Davis Cup finals, before Kooyong became the primary venue for lawn tennis in Melbourne.

  1. Only Grand Slam to be played in different Country and Cities

Surprised again?

The Australian Open is indeed one such mega tennis event that has been played in different countries with 1906 and 1912 tournaments being played in New Zealand. Also, the tournament was held at several cities in Australia – Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth. It was not until 1987 that it was decided that the tournament will be held only in Melbourne.

  1. Change of Surface

The Australian Open was initially played on a grass court. The trend continued from 1905 to 1987, until hard courts were introduced instead of grass ones. Mats Wilander holds the record of being the only player who has won the championship title on both grass court as well as on the hard court.

Another change took place in 2009 when the hard court surface was replaced by the rebound ace surface which is a mixture of asphalt and sand.


  1. Harsh Conditions

January is actually the summer season in Australia. The conditions are pretty tough, specially for the players hailing from European Countries. The mercury can rise up to 45 degree Celsius which is well above 100 degrees in Fahrenheit.

The players have said things like– it felt like they were playing tennis in a sauna, or on a frying pan that sizzled their soles.

At the present time, this grand slam makes use of EHP or Extreme Heat Policy under which umpires can suspend any given tennis match when the temperature reaches very high. In order to cope up with the heat, many retractable roofs have been constructed and provide some relief to both players as well as the spectators.

  1. Youngest and Oldest Winners

A very peculiar fact about the Australian Open is that the youngest and the oldest man to win the Men’s single title is the same person! Yes, you read that right.

Ken Rosewall of Australia won the coveted tournament in 1953 at the age of 18. After 19 years and 2 more Australian Open titles, he created history as he won the tournament again, aged 37.

Martina Hingis is the youngest player ever to win the tournament when she was crowned the Women’s Champion at age of 16!

Thelma Long is the oldest Women’s single winner achieving the feat at the age of 35, while Norman Brookes was 46 when he won the Men’s doubles title in the year 1924.


  1. Record Holders

Australian Open was open to professionals from 1969. Thus, the records here break at the 1969.

Men’s Single Title


Most Titles– Roy Emerson (6)

Year — 1961, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967

Most Consecutive Titles — Roy Emerson (5)

Year — 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967


AFTER 1968

Most Titles — Novak Djokovic (5)

Year — 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015

Most Consecutive Titles – Novak Djokovic

Year – 2011, 2012, 2013


Men’s Doubles Titles


Most Titles– Adrian Quist (10)

Year — 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950

Most Consecutive Titles — Adrian Quist (10)

Year — 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950

AFTER 1968

Most Titles — Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan (6)

Year — 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013

Most Consecutive Titles — Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan (3)

Year — 2009, 2010, 2011

Women’s Single Title


Most Titles– Margaret Court (11)

Year — 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966


AFTER 1968

Most Titles – Serena Williams (6)

Year — 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2015

Most Consecutive Titles — Margaret Court

Evonne Goolagong Cawley

Steffi Graf

Monica Seles

Martina Hingis

Year — 1969, 1970, 1971

1974, 1975, 1976

1988, 1989, 1990

1991, 1992, 1993

1997, 1998, 1999



  1. Defending Champions

Like every tournament, Australian Open also focuses on the previous champions.

For this year, the defending champions are as follows –

Men’s Single: Novak Djokovic

Women’s Single: Serena Williams

Men’s Doubles:


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  • Simone Bolelli was part of the winning Men’s Doubles team in 2011.
  • Fabio Fognini was part of the winning Men’s Doubles team in 2015.

Women’s Doubles:

  • Bethanie Mattek-Sands was part of the winning Women’s Doubles team in 2015.
  • Lucie Šafářová was part of the winning Women’s Doubles team in 2015.


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Mixed Doubles:

  • Martina Hingis was part of the winning Mixed Doubles team in 2015.
  • Leander Paes was part of the winning Mixed Doubles team in 2015.



Written by:

Aviral Srivastava


One take at a time

Pursuing Computer Science Engineering from Bangalore Institute of Technology. Avid sports fan, specially football. A lifelong United supporter.
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