18-31 January 2016
2016 Australian Open Tennis Tournament
The Grand Slam tennis tournaments include men’s, women’s, singles, doubles and mixed competitions, junior’s, wheelchair, exhibition, and legends’ competitions.
The tournament is held at the Rod Laver Arena and Hisense Arena which feature retractable roofs that can be shut during rain or extreme heat.
Novak Djokovic won the men’s singles crown by defeating Andy Murray .
Serena Williams won the women’s singles championships by defeating Maria Sharapova
The Australian Tennis Open Championship – Its History And How It Is Loved
The Australian Tennis Open Championship is the first tennis grand slam of the new season and it takes place at Melbourne Park in the last two weeks of January. The tournament was first played in 1905 and since this very first championship it has undergone several changes in both location as well as the surface it is played on.
The first tournament was still held in Melbourne, but its location was actually the Warehouseman’s Cricket Ground where 17 entrants took part on the grass with Rodney Heath becoming the first ever champion in front of a rather healthy crowd of 5000 people. The following year saw the championship move to Christchurch in New Zealand and this happened again in 1912 when Hastings was the host city. Since then five different cities in Australia have held the tournament including Sydney and Perth before it finally settled at its current home in 1988.
Apart from changing its name twice the other major change came in 1987 as this was the last year that the tournament was played on grass. This was changed in 1988 to a rebound ace surface with this lasting up until 2008 when plexi-cushion was installed with this being the surface still in use today.
Virtually all of the greats have had success at the Australian Open, but in the men’s game it is Roy Emerson who has had the most success with his six victories followed by names such as Andre Agassi with four and Roger Federer also capturing the crown on four different occasions. For the women, then Margaret Court is the most successful of all time with an amazing seven titles, but she is closely followed by Serena Williams who is currently sitting on five and clearly stands a good chance of at least matching the record if not beating it. Other big names such as Monica Seles, Steffi Graf and Martina Hingis have all won along with many other household names over the years giving them a fantastic start to what is a very long season.
The popularity of this tournament in Australia is clear for all to see as the attendance figures are only bettered by those at the US Open with around 600,000 people buying tickets every single year and this does of course bring in a huge sum of money to the economy in and around the Melbourne area.
Talking of money it is perhaps also worth pointing out how much cash is on offer in terms of prizes for the participants especially now that both men and women get the same money. In 2012 the prize pot was A$26 million with the singles champions picking up a cheque for A$2.3 million, but even the person who loses in the first round of the qualifying tournament was handed A$2,860, but of course the winners also get the trophy with the men receiving the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup and the women Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup.
Australians have always loved their tennis and there is no doubt that any Australian playing at the Australian tennis open championship will always be given more backing than they could ever imagine. They may not have the same success as in previous years, but the crowds keep coming back even when it goes on past midnight and with crowds continuing to rise year on year the entire tournament is in a good position for a long time to come.