Aussie Open Tennis Facts
Every January the world's best tennis players, including: Serena Williams,Novak Djokovic, Milos Raonic, Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova, head Down Under to play in the Australian Open - the first Grand Slam tennis event of the year. Check out these facts from the Australian Open.
- The tournament was first played in 1905 as the Australasian Championships and was renamed the Australian Open in 1969.
- The tournament rotated between several different cities across Australia until 1972, when the event was permanently moved to Melbourne.
- The Australian Open was played in neighboring New Zealand in 1906 and 1912.
- Players at the Australian Open often have to deal with the sweltering heat of the Australian summer. Temperatures on the court can reach more than 105 degrees Farenheit (40 degrees Celsius).In 2007 it was so hot that some players had to be put on intravenous! .
- Extreme temperatures in Australia can also cause the tennis balls to shrink and expand. This makes the balls react differently, which can cause problems for players during a match.
- Up until 2008, the Australian Open was played on a hard court surface, called Rebound Ace, which is made of ashphalt and sand.
- Because of the extreme heat, there are retractable roofs for some of the courts that can turn the event indoors in minutes.
- Ken Rosewall is both the youngest and oldest man to win the Mens Singles championship at the Australian Open. He won in 1953 at the age of 18 and again in 1972 at the age of 37.
- Martina Hingis became the youngest woman to win the Womens Singles title at the Australian Open. She won in 1997, when she was just 16 years old.
- Andre Agassi has won the Australian Open a record four times.
- For the 2006 Australian Open, 45,000 Wilson tennis balls were used.
- Spectators at the 2007 Australian Open ate approximately 164,000 ice cream cones and 37,305 BBQ sausages.
- At the 2007 Australian Open, there were 361 umpires making the call.
- More than 300 ballboys and ballgirls were hired to fetch balls at the 2007 Australian Open.
- The attendence for the 2007 Australian Open was 554,858.
- The total prize money in the 2008 Austalian Open totals $20 million (AUD). Both the men's and women's singles winner earns $1.2 million (AUD).
New For 2009
- The 2009 Australian Open featuredbrand new courts. The Rebound Ace surface that was used for the previous 20 years was replaced by a Plexicushion surface in 2008, which is a cushioned acrylic surface. The new court is more consistent and be more resistent to the heat.
For more info on the Australian Open, head to www.australianopen.com.