You know the Australian Open is the first Grand Slam of the year, but here are some lesser known facts about the Slam of Asia and the Pacific.
1. It wasn’t always played on hard courts
From the tournament’s inception in 1905 until 1986, the Aussie Open was played on grass courts. That means, in the history of the tournament, it has only been a hard court event in fairly recent memory. Imagine how many Roger would have won if it were still played on Grass!
2. It wasn’t always in Melbourne
For as long as you can probably remember, the event has been played at Melbourne Park, but in fact, it was not always in Australia, let alone Melbourne. The tournament has been played in Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide, Sydney, and even in Christchurch and Hastings, New Zealand!
3. It has only been called the Australian Open since 1969
From 1905-1968 it was known as the Australasian Championship.
4. Ken Rosewall is both the oldest and youngest Men’s Singles Champion
Rosewall first won the event when he was 18 years old. He also won the tournament 19 years later at 37 years old. Remarkably, he never won one in between.
5. The tournament is sponsored by UK based betting company William Hill
Though they are not a new sponsor, with the recent match-fixing scandal, this has been viewed by players and fans alike as very hypocritical.