Thank you for signing up. 

We've sent you an email. Please click on the link to verify your address.

Watch & bet on tennis live online

Find out how now

No spam ever. Unsubscribe in one click. By submitting your email address, you indicate your consent to receiving email marketing messages from us.

Australian Open: A complete guide to the first tennis grand slam of the year

Andrew Hendrie in News 1 Dec 2016
  • Complete guide for the Australian Open
  • History, past champions, prize money, ranking points and more
  • The 2017 Australian Open is live from 16-29 January
A general view of Rod Laver Arena, the centre court at Melbourne Park for the Australian Open (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

The Australian Open is the first grand slam of the season and continues to grow in popularity each year - read on below for a comprehensive guide on everything you need to know about one of the biggest tennis tournaments in history.




Widely regarded as the ‘Happy Slam’ due to its vibrant and feel-good nature, the Australian Open is held in the energetic city of Melbourne every year, usually during the final fortnight of January. Just about every legend in tennis has captured the prestigious Norman Brookes Challenge Cup (men) or Daphne Akhurst Memorial Trophy (women), with the Australian Open remaining a source of global attraction for tennis fans all over the world - along with the three other grand slams, Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open.


Magical tennis and everlasting memories is guaranteed every year when leading male and female players converge in Melbourne for one of tennis’s ultimate prizes. Keep scrolling for a complete wrap on the Australian Open, including history, records, former champions and so much more!



HISTORY


One of the oldest tournaments in history, the Australian Open has a history which stretches all the way back to 1905, when it was played at the Warehouseman’s Cricket Ground (now known as the Albert Reserve Tennis Centre) and was managed by the Lawn Tennis Association of Australia (currently known as Tennis Australia).

First branded as the Australasian Championships, and then later the Australian Championships in 1927 and finally the Australian Open in 1969, the tournament was not recognised as a major tennis event until 1924. The Australian Open’s rich history has seen it contested across two countries and seven cities, including Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, Christchurch and Hastings.

Due to its geographic isolation from the rest of the world, the Australian Open suffered in terms of attracting consistent quality fields and luring the best players from different parts of the planet. Many of the game’s greats such as Pancho Gonzales and Manuel Santana never played any form of the Australian Open, while more modern-day legends like Bjorn Norg and Ilie Nastase only competed once. Inconvenient scheduling around the Christmas and New Year period was also a factor in players opting to remain in Europe and America during the early stages of the Australian Open.

It wasn’t until well after the establishment of the ‘Open Era’ in 1968 - the date where Grand Slam tournaments agreed to allow professional players to complete alongside amateurs - that the Australian Open really began to take off as a worldwide juggernaut. The Australian Open moved to the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club in 1972 and was played on grass until it was moved to Flinders Park (later renamed as Melbourne Park) in 1988. The ever-growing Melbourne Park precinct remains the location for the Australian Open today.



Andre Agassi with the Australian Open trophy in 2003 (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images).

Stars such as Mats Wilander, Ivan Lendl, Stefan Edberg, Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert and Steffi Graf became champions of the revamped Australian Open during it’s history at Kooyong, and their participation and subsequent success paved the way for a continuation of global tennis superstars to erase previous history and consistently make the trip to Melbourne to compete at the Australian Open, allowing the event to genuinely categorise itself as a grand slam tournament of tennis.

Modern-day legends Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Monica Seles and Martina Hingis won the tournament on multiple occasions throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, while more recent champions to etch their names on the silverware include the likes of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams, Kim Clijsters and Victoria Azarenka.

Today the Australian Open is played on blue Plexicushion (moving from 20 years of Rebound Ace in 2008) and is consistently one of the most popular annual sporting events in the world, last year attracting a record crowd over the fortnight of over 720,000 people. It was also the first Grand Slam tournament to feature indoor play due to wet weather or extreme heat, with the Australian Open leading the way with its three primary courts - Rod Laver Arena, Hisense Arena and Margaret Court Arena - all equipped with retractable roofs.



Novak Djokovic after winning the 2016 Australian Open (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

CURRENT TOURNAMENT FORMAT AND SCHEDULE


After a chaotic start to the season, where players compete in multiple tournaments spread out across Australia, New Zealand, China, India and the Middle East, the best tennis players in the world descend on Melbourne for a two-week tennis extravaganza where only one man and woman will leave ‘Down Under’ with one of the biggest prizes tennis has to offer.

The qualifying tournaments marks the official start of the Australian Open, with 128 men and women - normally an intriguing mix of rising stars, established veterans and battling journeymen/women - squaring off for a coveted spot in the main draw. Over three rounds only 16 players can remain and cement their spot in the Australian Open proper, beginning the next week. Read on below for a full tournament schedule for the 2017 Australian Open, or alternatively, click here!

Monday 16 January – men’s and women’s R1 matches
Play starts at 11am local/12am GMT; night session begins 7pm local/8am GMT

Tuesday 17 January – men’s and women’s R1 matches
Play starts at 11am local/12am GMT; night session begins 7pm local/8am GMT

Wednesday 18 January – men’s and women’s R2 matches
Play starts at 11am local/12am GMT; night session begins 7pm local/8am GMT

Thursday 19 January – men’s and women’s R2 matches
Play starts at 11am local/12am GMT; night session begins 7pm local/8am GMT

Friday 20 January – men’s and women’s R3 matches
Play starts at 11am local/12am GMT; night session begins 7pm local/8am GMT

Saturday 21 January – men’s and women’s R3 matches
Play starts at 11am local/12am GMT; night session begins 7pm local/8am GMT

Sunday 22 January – men’s and women’s R16 matches
Play starts at 11am local/12am GMT; night session begins 7pm local/8am GMT

Monday 23 January – men’s and women’s R16 matches
Play starts at 11am local/12am GMT; night session begins 7pm local/8am GMT

Tuesday 24 January – men’s and women’s quarterfinals
Play starts at 11am local/12am GMT; night session begins 7pm local/8am GMT

Wednesday 25 January – men’s and women’s quarterfinals
Play starts at 11am local/12am GMT; night session begins 7.30pm local/8.30am GMT

Thursday 26 January – women’s semifinals (day), men’s semifinal #1 (night)
Day session (women's semifinals) begins 1.30pm local/2.30am GMT; night session (men's semifinals) begins 7.30pm local/8.30am GMT

Friday 27 January – men’s semifinal #2 (night)
Night session (men's semifinal #2) 

Saturday 28 January – women’s final
Women's final begins 7.30pm local/8.30am GMT

Sunday 29 January – men’s final
Men's final begins 7.30am local/8.30am GMT

PRIZE MONEY


The Australian Open is second behind only the US Open when it comes to prize money at major tournaments. The second Grand Slam to offer equal prize money to both men and women (also behind the US Open), the Australian Open’s total prize money has increased significantly each year. In 2016 the Australian Open’s overall prize money totalled AUD$44 million, which was a 10 per cent increase from the previous year. The 2017 Australian Open will again see an increase in prize money, however the exact details won’t be released until closer to the tournament.

The table below details how much prize money is awarded to players (both men and women) who reach a certain stage of the tournament in singles, doubles and mixed doubles - from winning all the way down to losing in the first round of qualifying.


Australian Open 2016 Prize Money

EventWinnerFinalSemi-finalsQuarter-finalsRound of 16Round of 32Round of 64Round of 128Qualifying R3Qualifying R2Qualifying R1
Singles$3,400,000$1,700,000$750,000$375,000$193,000$108,000$67,000$38,500$20,000$12,000$6,000
Doubles$635,000$315,000$157,500$78,500$43,000$25,500$16,500N/AN/AN/AN/A
Mixed Doubles$157,000$78,500$39,250$18,000$9,000$4,500N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A


NOTE:

- All figures are Australian dollars
- Doubles prize money was awarded per team


AUSTRALIAN OPEN CHAMPIONS - WHO’S WON THE MOST TITLES?


Current World No. 2 Novak Djokovic has dominated proceedings at Melbourne Park recently, with the Serbian’s triumph in 2016 over Andy Murray elevating to equal-first on the all-time list for most Australian Open titles won in history with six. Djokovic won his first Australian Open title in 2008 - also his first Grand Slam title - and has added to that tally in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016. Only Stan Wawrinka has been able to secure Australian Open silverware since 2011. Australian great Roy Emerson has also won six Australian Open titles, including five straight between 1963-67. Roger Federer, Ken Rosewall and Jack Crawford are next in line with four each.



Serena Williams after winning the Australian Open in 2015 (Photo by MAL FAIRCLOUGH/AFP/Getty Images)

Another Australian legend in Margaret Court holds the women’s record for most Australian Open titles won with an incredible 11 victories between 1960 and 1973. Serena Williams, who is just two major titles short of Court’s record 24, is equal-second alongside Nancye Wynne Bolton with six titles apiece. Daphne Akhurt, to whom the women’s singles champion’s trophy is named after, has won five Australian Open titles, while Evonne Goolagong Cawley, Steffi Graf and Monica Seles have captured four each.


Most Australian Open titles won (men)

PlayerTitles WonYears
Roy Emerson (AUS)61961, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967
Novak Djokovic (SRB)62008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016
Jack Crawford (AUS)41931, 1932, 1933, 1935
Andre Agassi (USA)41995, 2000, 2001, 2003
Roger Federer (SUI)42004, 2006, 2007, 2010
Ken Rosewall (AUS)41953, 1955, 1971, 1972
James Anderson (AUS)31922, 1924, 1925
Rod Laver (AUS)31960, 1962, 1969
Adrian Quist (AUS)31936, 1940, 1948
Mats Wilander (SWE)31983, 1984, 1988


Most Australian Open titles won (women)

PlayerTitles WonYears
Margaret Court111960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1969, 1970, 1973
Nancye Wynne Bolton61937, 1940, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1951
Serena Williams62003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2015
Daphne Akhurst51925, 1926, 1928, 1929, 1930
Evonne Goolagong Cawley41974, 1975, 1976, 1977
Steffi Graf41988, 1989, 1990, 1994
Monica Seles41991, 1992, 1993, 1996
Joan Hartigan Bathurst31933, 1934, 1936
Martina Hingis31997, 1998, 1999
Martina Navratilova31981, 1983, 1985



RANKING POINTS


The amount of ranking points awarded to both men and women at the Australian Open has changed dramatically over the years, but below is the current ranking points distributed to each player depending on what round they reach/are eliminated.


Australian Open Ranking Points

EventWinnerFinalSemi-finalQuarter-FinalRound of 16Round of 32Round of 64Round of 128QualifierQualifying R3Qualifying R2Qualifying R1
Men's Singles20001200720360180904510251680
Women's Singles2000130078043024013070104030202
Men's Doubles20001200720360180900N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Women's Doubles2000130078043024013010N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A



AUSTRALIAN OPEN FUN FACTS


  • Australian Open 2016 attracted a record 720,363 fans, smashing the previous record of 703,899 set in 2016.
  • Australian Open 2016 had a daily average maximum temperature of 26°C and averaged nine hours of sunshine each day.
  • Australian Open 2009 was the warmest event on record, with the average daily maximum 34.7°C, nine degrees above normal.
  • On 29 January 1963, 108mm of rain fell on Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club, making it the wettest day in Australian Open history.
  • Fans at Australian Open 2017 are expected to consume more than 150,000 Haagen Dazs ice creams and more than 200,000 bottles of water.
  • The youngest men’s singles winner of the Australian Open was Ken Rosewall in 1953 (18 years, two months).
  • The youngest women’s singles winner of the Australian Open was Martina Hingis in 1997 (16 years, four months).
  • The oldest men’s singles winner of the Australian Open was Ken Rosewall in 1972 (37 years, eight months).
  • The oldest women’s winner of the Australian Open was Thelma Coyne Long (35 years, eight months).

LIVE STREAM - HOW TO WATCH AND BET ON THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN ONLINE


The stage is always set for a breathless fortnight of tennis during the Australian Open, and you can watch every single point from the main stadiums and outside courts online. Simply sign up to bet365 and you can take advantage of their outstanding, fully licensed and regulated live streaming service.

Hundreds of thousands of tennis fans have signed up to watch tennis through bet365’s extensive live streaming platform. Bet365 has licensed broadcasting rights for the Australian Open for their members in a number of territories around the world. The streaming quality is fantastic, you can watch via your computer, mobile or tablet and can even watch multiple matches at once by stacking live stream windows next to each other. Click here for a full guide on how to watch the Australian Open live online via bet365.





Breaking News

Share this with your friends

To:
From:
Your comments:

Australian Open: A complete guide to the first tennis grand slam of the year

The Australian Open is the first grand slam of the season and continues to grow in popularity each year - read on below for a comprehensive guide on everything you need to know about one of the biggest tennis tournaments in history.

Read more »

You have unread messages

You have unread messages