Australian Open | History
With a rich history of brilliant tennis players, exciting matches, and what's known to have the most entertaining fan base, the Australian Open began in 1904. Originally, the tournament was called the Australasian Championship. However, in 1969, it assumed its current title, coinciding with the 'Open Era' of tennis.
Predominantly staged in Australia, the Open has been hosted in seven different cities: Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, Christchurch, and Hastings, and with the exception of 1916-1918, and 1941-1945 (World Wars), this tournament has been annually held. Ever since, Australians have taken deep pride in their home event.
It wasn't until the sixties, however, that the Australian players became recognized for their skills. During this time, native Australians dominated the tennis stage- Rod Laver, Roy Emerson, and Margaret Smith Court won sixteen out of a possible twenty men's and women's championships. Australian tennis fans were on cloud nine.
But, because Australia remained one the hardest geographical locations to get to, attendance from many of the top players in the nation was an issue. As years passed, the Open's popularity strengthened. Renovations to build a better and bigger stadium were making way, which subsequently brought more competition to the stage.
In 1988, the Open moved to Melbourne Park and became the new venue for the tournament. Equipped with a removable roof and newly cushioned hard-court surfaces, it was here that people saw modern prodigies rule the courts, such as Boris Becker, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Roger Federer, and Novak Djokovic.
Rookies and champions have all developed and shared memories during the Aussie Open; men and women have defined and redefined tennis as a sport here, and in doing so, made this tournament one of the most exciting and unforgettable Grand Slams in the world.