The Australian Open is the first of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments and is held in Melbourne, Australia. Players from around the globe meet once a year to compete for this lucrative title, and fans have bought tickets numbering in the thousands for this event. Be the first to get your tickets to the 2010 Australian Open!
The Australian Open has undergone numerous changes during its many years. It was started in 1905 by the Lawn Tennis Association of Australia (LTAA). Originally, the Australasian Championships (as it was called in 1905) were held at Warehouseman's Cricket Ground in St. Kilda Road, Melbourne. Actually, the Australian Open has been held in six different locations. Before 1972, it was held in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, and even twice in New Zealand.
In 1972, Tennis Australia, formerly the LTAA, decided to keep the tournament in one city instead of rotating it from place to place. The largest number of tickets had been sold in Melbourne, Australia, and it was chosen as the permanent site for the Australian Open. Kooyong Tennis Club began hosting the event every year. In 1988, Melbourne Park was built to accomodate the expanding tournament. In that year, ticket sales nearly doubled from what they had been at Kooyong.
Not only has the location been a source of change, but the Australian Open has had several different names. The name has been changed twice. Originally, the Australasian Championships, the tournament became the Australian Championships in 1927. In 1969, the name was once again changed, and it became the Australian Open.
The Australian Open is one of four Grand Slam tennis tournaments held every year. Usually held in January, it is actually the first Grand Slam of the year. Players and fans highly anticipate this first chance to see the world's best tennis players go head to head. Another attraction of the Australian Open are the courts on which it's played. It is played on a innovative 'rebound ace' court surface, which presents fast-paced and exciting matches.
Players from around the world attend the Australian Open for a chance to capture their Grand Slam title. It became a battleground for the rivalry between Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi that encompassed both of their careers. However, they only met in one Australian Open Final, and Agassi came out victorious. Other winners of the Australian Open include Steffi Graf, Monica Seles, Jim Courier, Jennifer Capriati, Pete Sampras, Boris Becker, Martina Hingis, Andy Roddick, Rodger Federer, Justine Henin-Hardenne, Venus Williams, and Serena Williams. Other participants have been Michael Chang, Mary Pierce, Mary Jo Fernandez, and Australia's own Pat Rafter.
The Australian Open showcases some of the best names in tennis. Players, critics, and ticket-holders flock to see this major event. The 2004 tournament attracted over 100,000 spectators and made over $203 million in ticket sales. The Australian Open is famous for its world-class playing and has become a main event in tennis.