Australian Open Facts and Trivia
Welcome to our moderately-sized page of Australian Open facts, where we lay out some nice trivia for your eager eyes. The first Grand Slam of the year is always an interesting affair. It sets the the tone for the rest of the year, and can give players a good chance to get off on the right foot in the rankings… or stumble at the first hurdle.
To help you seem that little bit more knowledgeable about Australian’s biggest tennis tournament, I’ve put together a few interesting titbits for you to regurgitate the next time someone brings it up.
Australian Open Facts
Youngest and Oldest
We’ll start with my personal favourite of Australian Open facts. The youngest player ever to win the Australian Open was a player by the name of Ken Rosewall, winning the 1953 tournament at the age of 18. In an interesting twist, however, Ken Rosewall is also the oldest player to win the Australian Open! He came back in 1972 and won the tournament again, aged 37, nicely bookending his career.
The Australian Open did for a time take place in December, however it was decided that tournament would be better played in January, and so in 1986 they did just that. Only they couldn’t have the regular December tournament and then move to January the next year, essentially having two Australian Opens a month apart! So they skipped 1986 altogether.
The Australian Open may take place on the other side of the planet, but that hasn’t stopped American players having major success at Melbourne Park. American players have won the tournament a total of thirteen times. Conversely, Australian players have only lifted the trophy six times. Sweden and Serbia have also taken the trophy six times, but in Serbia’s case that was all Novak Djokovic. We’re talking Open Era only here, by the way.
Always a Finalist, Never a Winner
While Djokovic holds the record for most Australian Open wins, Andy Murray isn’t far behind him… in finals. Murray has reached the final at Melbourne Park an astonishing five times, but has yet to win the thing! Of his five final defeats, four of them have been against… you guessed it, Djokovic.
On the Surface
The Australian Open was originally played on grass courts (as were most tournaments… it was called “lawn tennis”, after all), but the event organisers decided to switch to hard courts in 1988. Mats Wilander has the unique honour of being the only player to have won the Australian Open on both grass and hard courts.
The tournament wasn’t always at Melbourne Park, in fact it has moved around quite a bit. It wasn’t until 1972 that it settled down in Melbourne where it has been since—and will be until at least 2036. This could have changed, however, when New South Wales made attempt to lure the tournament away from Melbourne in 2008. The attempt failed, but Melbourne weren’t too happy about it.
Feel the Burn
As you might expect, it’s pretty damn hot down there. Temperatures at the Australian Open can reach 45 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit), and the tournament has an “Extreme Heat Policy” in place where umpires can suspend play if the temperatures start cooking people. As a result of this heat, a number of courts at Melbourne Park have retractable roofs.
The longest match in the Australian Open’s history was the 2012 final between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. Djokovic would go on to win the match 5–7 6–4 6–2 6–7(7) 7–5. This match is also the longest Grand Slam singles final in the Open Era overall.
That’s all for now. This post will be constantly updated as new facts come to my attention, so if you know of any new (or old) facts you feel should be in here, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below and they could be added!