As of now, there are four Grand Slam Tournaments in tennis that are held every year and it begins with the Australian Open, the very first of the four Grand Slams. The Australian Open is followed by the French Open, then the US Open and finally the Wimbledon. The Australian Open begins in the later half of the month in January every year. Now, one must understand that unlike in the US or other northern countries, January is a summer month in Australia and is consequently, very hot. The tournament is held mainly in the Rod Laver Arena and the Hisense Arena, both of which have retractable roofs that are closed in sometimes if the temperature becomes too high to play under the open sky or if it starts to rain.
The main attraction of a tennis tournament is of course the men’s and the women’s Singles tournament, but the Australian Open also hosts the Doubles tournament for the men, women and also the Mixed Doubles. Other divisions included in the Australian Open are Wheelchair, Legend’s; Junior’s and of course the Exhibition matches. As one of the four main Grand Slams, the Australian Open is held in high esteem by all major tennis players and viewers alike. The popularity of the Australian Open had reached an all time high in 2010 when the highest attendance recorded on a single day/night was 77,043.
The Australian Open started back in the year 1905 and the first of the matches were played in Melbourne at the Warehouseman’s Cricket Ground. The name of the ground has changed since then and today we know it as the Albert Reserve Tennis Centre. The name of the tournament was not “Australian Open” at that time either; it was called the “Australasian Championships” back then. “Asia” was removed from the name and thus Australasian Championships became only “Australian Championships in 1927. The name “Australian Open” was given to the tournament in 1969 and has remained so till date. The early days of the tournament were not very good as the best international players of the time did not come to Australia at that time because of the distance factor. Those days are behind the tournament now because modernization and technology has made the distance factor irrelevant now.