The Australian Open has been running for more than a century, to be precise, it has completed 113 years. The tournament itself entered the Open era in 1969 so it has been nearly 60 years in the Open era. Over the years, there have been numerous records set and broken, because after all, records are meant to be broken. In 2019, it will be completing 114 years.
Each event, sporting or otherwise, has an interesting back story and this tournament is no different. Here are a few tidbits of Australian Open Trivia.
- Amazingly the youngest and oldest ever winner of the men’s Australian Open is the same person, Ken Rosewall. He won the tournament at the age of 18 in 1953 and also at the age of 37 in 1972. But this was all in the pre-Open era.
- The youngest women’s winner of the Australian Open is Martina Hingis who became champion in 1997 at the tender age of 16.
- The fastest serving man at Australian Open 2006 was Taylor Dent (231km/h) while Sam Stosur and Venus and Serena Williams shared the women’s honours (194km/h)
- MOST TITLES BY COUNTRY
13 – United States
6 – Australia, Sweden
- Andre Agassi has won the Australian Open a record four times.
- While the $40 million prize pool total and $3.1 million awaiting the men’s and women’s champions will draw the most headlines, the fact that even first-round losers will receive $34,500 is fairly incredible.
- Longest known Australian Open match in Open Era history:
5 hours 53 minutes Novak Djokovic d. Rafael Nadal – Final, 2012
Without a doubt, the opening Grand Slam is steeped with history and has a vault full of interesting facts. Unsurprisingly, Roger Federer is the most successful player, having won 6 titles. But he is not alone, ruling the roost. In fact, he shares the most number of titles with Serbian rival Novak Djokovic. In the women’s section, Serena Williams is tied with Margaret Court with 7 Open era titles.
Delving back into the history of the sports, the first match of the Australian Open, then known as the Australian Championship, was played at the Warehouseman’s Cricket Ground in 1905. That year, Rodney Heath defeated compatriot Arthur Curtis in four sets to claim the inaugural title.
The 1906 and 1912 tournaments were actually held in New Zealand instead of Australia. It was only after 1987 that it was decided that the tournament will be held only in Melbourne.
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. Another change took place in 2009 when the hard court surface was replaced by rebound ace surface which is a mixture of asphalt and sand.
The 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.