Little-known Australian Open facts
Image: leeabbamonte.com The Australian Open is often not viewed in the same glamorous tones that the other 3 tennis Grand Slams are. Most players and spectators view Wimbledon as the pinnacle of tennis, while The French Open and The US Open have their own special place in the tennis public thanks to their unique history. However, The Australian Open is undoubtedly a special tournament, and an important cog in the Grand Slam calendar. It also has a rich history and has featured some dramatic moments and breathtaking tennis, all of which has given it a unique charm. Here are some facts you may not know about the Australian Open.
It’s over a century old
Image: walkingmelbourne.com The first Australian Open took place in 1905, over 110 years ago
It used to have a different name
This mega-tennis event was originally known as the Australian Championship. It was only called the Australian open for the first time in 1969.
It used to be played across several cities (and even New Zealand)
While the 2016 Aussie Open is synonymous with Melbourne, this wasn’t always the case. Up until 1987, it used to be played across several cities in Australia, before organisers decided to make Melbourne the home of Australia’s premier tennis tournament. In fact, the tournament even took place in New Zealand in 1906 and 1912.
It used to only have Aussie players
Image:tennis.com.au Image: historyofaustraliantennis.weebly.com Image:nbcsports.com Initially only Australian players participated in the tournament, with famous names such as Roy Laver, Roy Emerson and Margaret Smith (Court) first making their name. It’s first taste of international flavor occurred in 1946, when several US players played in the tournament.
It used to be played on grass
Many tennis lovers of the modern era are unaware that prior to 1988, the Australian Open used to be played on a grass court, before it switched over to a hard court. Mats Wilander is the only player to have won the Aussie Open on both a grass court and a hard court.
Conditions can be unbearable
The tournament is hosted in the heart of the Australian summer, and temperatures can be unbearably hot at times, with the daytime temperature often reaching a sweltering 45 degrees Celsius. These boiling conditions has resulted in many players having to be put on intravenous drips in order to cope, and has also led to the construction of retractable roofs, which have offered much-needed relief for both players and spectators. The organisers also introduced an Extreme Heat Policy in 1998, which provides guideline when the temperatures reach 40 degrees Celsius. Got tennis fever? Try out our awesome, tennis-themed slot, Centre Court!