The First Grand Slam of the year - the Australian Open
- has finally arrived. As in any Grand Slam tournament, the best tennis players from around the world participate, and fans are never disappointed.
The 2019 edition of the tournament takes place from the 7th
to the 27th
of January and will see the likes of Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Caroline Wozniacki, and Serena Williams all battling out to take home the first Grand Slam of the year.
The Australian Open has a rich history and is a tournament that resonates with tennis fans and players alike. There are plenty of interesting facts about the tournament that you might not know about, we've picked the best of the bunch.
Image source: Foxsportsasia.com
It was officially named the Australian Open in 1969
The tournament went through several name changes before being named the Australian Open. In its inaugural year in 1905, it was called the Australasian Championships and was played in different cities in both Australia and New Zealand.
The name was used for more than 20 years before it was changed to the Australian Championships in 1927. In 1969, the tournament name was changed once more to the Australian Open, which it remains as to this day.
Home of the longest Grand Slam final
Image source: Theforeignaffairofficial.com
The 2012 Australian Open men’s final between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal lasted an astonishing 5 hours and 53 minutes, making it the longest Grand Slam final of all time. It was number 1 in the world vs number 2 in the world, and tennis fans couldn’t have asked for a more thrilling contest.
The two men battled it out all night – literally. After hours of trading rallies, volleys, and aces, Djokovic eventually came out on top at 1:37am.
Both Djokovic and Nadal were so exhausted at the end of the match that they had to break convention and sit down during the trophy presentation.
Image source: Heraldsun.com.au
The tournament is played in extreme heat
The Australian Open is played in the middle of the Australian summer where temperatures can reach as high as 40 degrees Celsius. The 2018 edition of the tournament saw players competing in a heatwave where on-court temperatures reached as high as 50 degrees Celsius.
The incredible heat prompted the organisers of the tournament to introduce an Extreme Heat Policy, which allows the referee to suspend play when temperatures get too high to prevent players from fainting or suffering from heat stroke.
image source: Tennisworldusa.org
40,000 tennis balls are used each year
Around 40,000 tennis balls are used each year in the tournament. Six new tennis balls are used for the five-minute warmup and the first seven games. Six new balls are provided after every nine games thereafter.
In previous years, Wilson was the official supplier of tennis balls for the Australian Open but that changed in 2018 when it was announced that Dunlop would become the new supplier.
The youngest male winner is also the oldest
Ken Rosewall had a career that lasted more than two decades. In that time, Rosewall won a total of eight Grand Slams, four of which were Australian Open titles. Rosewall holds the record for being the youngest, as well as the oldest, man to win the Australian Open.
He won his first title in in 1953 at 18 years and two months old becoming the youngest men’s winner of the tournament. Almost exactly 19 years later, Rosewall became the oldest champion of the tournament at the age of 37 years and two months old.
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