The Australian Open is a sporting event that has a rich history given its remote beginnings. Originally known as the Australasian Championship, in 1924 it was designated as a major championship. It was not until 1972 that Melbourne was chosen as the main venue. Since 1988, it has been held in Melbourne Park.
At first, very few players went to Australia because of its remoteness. By 1920, a trip from Europe to Australia took 45 days by ship.
Change of Location, Change in the Field
The change of location also brought a change in the field. It went from a grass surface to a surface made of Rebound Ace. A kind of hard-court surface.
For 2008, Plexicushion Prestige replaced the Rebound Ace. A cushioned, medium-paced acrylic type. Serena Williams and Roger Federer have been the only players to win the Australian Open on these two types of surfaces. This surface is special because it retains much less heat.
A Complicated Date
The date of the Australian Open changed a lot over the years due to the different changes in climate. But since 1987, the date has remained the same.
Players like Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have expressed their desire to change the date to February, as this tournament is held very close to the end of the Christmas holidays. This prevents players from being in top physical condition.
A Little Dispute
For 2008, there was a dispute. New South Wales expressed its desire to host the Australian Open when the Melbourne contract expired in 2016. However, this was rejected. The Head of the Victorian Events Industry Council described the fact as an incorrect desire to appropriate events.
The Melbourne Park has been refurbished with a retractable roof and comfortable facilities for players and spectators. It’s said that a fourth exhibition court will be completed in the coming years. This will have a capacity for 5,000 more.
By 2018, it was announced that Melbourne would remain the official seat. The Australian Open would introduce tie-breaks in the final sets of the men’s and women’s matches. Just like Wimbledon and the US Open.
During 2019,GreenSet replaced the court manufacturer. Its distinctive blue padded acrylic hard court would be preserved. The Australian Open in 2020 was the first tournament to use it.
The Australian Open is an event that continues to bring important moments in the history of the sport.