The Australian Open is the youngest of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments, dating back to 1905. For decades, the Australian Open has been held in Melbourne and has attracted the world’s best tennis players. The Australian Open, the first Grand Slam tournament, will be held from January 17 to 30, 2022.
Australian Open 2022
17–30 January 2022
128S / 64D
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
History of the Australian Open
Unlike France, Wimbledon and the US Open, the Australian Grand Slam was not played until the 20th century. At the beginning there was no question about its future world recognition – the tournament was considered a fiefdom of Australian tennis players. And its name was also different. At first it was called Australasian Championship, then since 1927 – Australian Championship. Nowadays tournament with the prefix “Open” received its name from 1969, when the so-called Open Age began in tennis.
The geography of the tournament was also extremely vast. Though the very first tournament was held in Melbourne, later on other Australian tennis centers – Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth – played host to the tournament. Twice (1906, 1912) tennis players played in New Zealand. Foreigners in the first half of the last century came to Australia to play very seldom, because of its great remoteness from Europe and the USA. It is not surprising, therefore, that the locals dominated. The first women’s singles player to shatter their hegemony was Britain’s Dorothy Round, who won in 1935. For the men, however, the first foreign champion was the American Fred Alexander, back in 1908, and the first European was the Frenchman Jacques Borotra in 1928.
The Australian Open finally and irrevocably moved to Melbourne in 1972, and since 1988 all matches are played in the massive tennis complex called Melbourne Park. It’s hard to imagine now, but for many years the tournament had no clear dates – January, March, August, December… And even in the mid-eighties the Australian Open was held in mid-December. Since 1987 the dates were firmly set familiar to all – the second half of January. But only in 2021, because of the covid and, consequently, the quarantine requirements in Australia, the Australian Open as an exception was moved to 8 – 21 February.
Recall that in December – February in Australia, in contrast to many countries, it is summer – the temperature sometimes exceeds 40 degrees. There are even special rules that limit play on outdoor courts (now there are arenas with roofs and air-conditioning) in the extreme heat.
Australian Open records
The greatest number of Australian Open titles in men’s singles (nine) was won by Novak Djokovic, who won on the Melbourne courts in 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2019-2021. The women’s record holder with 11 titles is Margaret Court-Smith, who won in 1960 – 1966, 1969 – 1971 and 1973. In the Open era, the best record (seven titles) is Serena Williams, won in 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2015 and 2017.
The youngest champion in women is Martina Hingis (16 years and 4 months in 1997) and in men is Ken Roswall (18 years and 2 months, 1953). Curiously, Roswall is also the oldest winner of the Australian Open singles (37 years and 2 months, 1972). For women, it’s Thelma Coyne-Long (35 years and 8 months, 1954).
The longest men’s match (353 minutes) was the final of 2012, in which Novak Djokovic defeated Rafael Nadal 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7, 7-5. In women’s the longest match (284 minutes) was held in the fourth round of the Australian Open-2011 – Francesca Schiavone beat Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4, 1-6, 16-14. We should add that now such a result is no longer possible – with a score of 6:6 in the decisive game (fifth for men, third for women) since 2019 in Melbourne is a tie-break to ten points.
Australian Open Prize Money
Currently, the Australian Open prize pool is a $__ million, which is distributed among the participants in the following proportions:
Australian Open Ranking Points
The first major of the year, the Australian Open promises participants a noticeable increase in ranking up to 2,000 points. Ranking points are distributed in the following order:
Winner – 2000 points;
The finalist – 1000 points;
Semifinalist – 720 points;
Quarterfinalist – 360 points;
Participant round of 16 – 180 points;
Participant of the third round – 90 points;
Participant of the second round – 45 points;
Participant of the first round – 10 points.
Novak Djokovic won the men’s singles at the Australian Open. The Serb in the final match was stronger than Russia’s Daniil Medvedev 7-5,6-2,6-2.
In women’s singles, Naomi Osaka won the Australian Open. The Japanese was stronger than American Jennifer Brady 6-4,6-3 in the final match.