Since the Australian Open was first held in 1905, plenty has changed in the world.
Technology and science have advanced at a rapid rate, offering us new approaches to many things in life.
Australian Open tennis has experience a huge amount of innovation over the years as a result of these advancements. Many of them have been game changers!
Let’s explore a few elements of the Australian Open we knew then - and see how it has evolved to become the Australian Open we know and love today.
Then: From 1905 to 1987 Australian Open tennis was played on grass courts. In fact, grass courts used to be very common as their softness is well matched to the human body. However, the high cost of upkeep and issues with rain saw their popularity decline.
Now: Since 1988 the Australian Open courts have been hard courts. Australia’s Plexicushion courts are acrylic topped and offer consistency in the bounce. Throw in a stadium with a roof that can be opened and closed - courts are now suitable for any weather conditions that Australia’s climate offers up.
Then: Pick up a tennis racquet back in the early 1900s and it would’ve been a wooden frame with strings made from animal guts… Wire strings came next and the laminated wooden frame racquets remained popular for close to 100 years. Steel and aluminium came next, but wood was still preferred by many.
Now: A few players still swear by natural gut strings, but most favour nylon or polyester synthetic racquet strings. Most tennis racquet frames today are made from graphite or carbon fibre composite materials. These are lighter and longer lasting, giving players the power to play a better game than ever before.
Then: The Australian Open used to be deemed too far away on the map, so right up until 1946 there were no international players!
Now: Fast forward to 2017 and the Australian Open is a highlight on the world tennis calendar with the best of the best flocking to our shores to compete.
Then: Until recent years, line-calling was 100% up to humans. Whether it was going to be a relatively insignificant point or a point to change the game, line-callers had to watch carefully and make the often-challenging decisions along with the chair umpire.
Now: The 2007 Australian Open was the first grand slam tournament to introduce Hawk-Eye in line-call challenges. The 2017 Australian Open will use Hawk-Eye for electronic reviews on many courts, including at Rod Laver, Hisense and Margaret Court Arenas. The Australian Open review system allows players three incorrect challenges each during a set, with an additional one in the event of a tiebreak. Watch Hawk-Eye in action in this video:
There’s just something in human nature that enjoys pitting things against each other – think Batman Vs Superman, PC Vs Apple, peanut butter Vs vegemite – the competition is real!
And when it comes to sport, there aren’t many that compare to tennis for famous rivalries between world-class players. It’s why thousands of Aussies are already securing their Australian Open tickets for 2017.
Every year, the Australian Open provides an inspiring spectacle of underdogs and dominators all vying for the glory of winning their first (or in the case of Serena Williams their 23rd) Grand Slam title.
If you’re planning to get your hands on Australian Open tickets, here’s a taste of the famous rivalries you’ll get a glimpse of in Melbourne this summer.
Serena Williams Vs… Everyone
Serena Williams is an undisputed legend in women’s tennis and has consistently dominated at the Australian Open.
On the world stage her total of 22 Grand Slam singles titles is second only to Margaret Court with 24, and she is the only player to win ten Grand Slam singles titles in two separate decades. Williams also holds the Open Era record for most titles won at the Australian Open(six).
Understandably then, she’s viewed as a formidable opponent by all who compete against her.
However, Williams is not currently ranked the world number one in the women’s league – that title goes to German Angelique Kerber, who overcame Serena in last year’s Aussie Open final in an incredibly emotional match.
With Williams chasing Margaret Court’s Grand Slam record and Kerber hungry for a second Australian Open tournament win, we’re expecting fireworks in 2017.
Novak Djokovic Vs Andy Murray
The Australian Open is where the skilled Serbian, Novak Djokovic won his first Grand Slam and has since claimed six wins at the Aussie tournament, including in 2016.
Many of these final wins have been against Scotland’s Andy Murray. Almost mirroring Djokovic’s wins, Murray has come runner up in five Australian Open finals – and always so frustratingly close.
In the upcoming season, Murray enters 2017 as the current world number one in men’s singles tennis and with what’s being described as the ultimate momentum to take home the big prize down under.
But will it be enough to overcome the mental hurdle of defeating archrival Djokovic and other skilled contenders? Time will tell.
If one thing is certain, 2017 will be another landmark year for the world’s tennis elite as old rivals face off and newcomers make their mark.
Secure your Australian Open tickets here.
The Australian Open is nearly upon us again, delivering world class tennis, high stakes and drama to Melbourne.
As we gear up for another tennis extravaganza and wonder what classic moments will come from the Australian Open in 2017, it seems like the perfect time to explore some of the unforgettable moments from the Australian Open’s history.
Tears, tantrums, impromptu swimming and some inspiring sportsmanship feature as we reminisce about the Australian Open over the years.
1990: McEnroe loses it
It’s no secret that John McEnroe has a bit of trouble controlling his temper. The American is no stranger to being kicked off the court however at the Australian open in 1990 he outdid himself.
Stopping to intently glare at a lineswoman was the first violation for McEnroe but it didn’t stop there. A wide forehand saw him take it out on his racquet, smashing it into the ground. That was strike two. The call for that code violation prompted McEnroe to begin swearing at the chair umpire, which lead to his third code violation. Unfortunately for McEnroe, he was apparently unaware that the previous year’s 4-strike rule was now a 3-strike rule and defaulted on his match. Oops. Even more notable is that this incident made McEnroe the first player to be disqualified from a grand slam since 1963!
McEnroe has had so many on-court tantrums, you can even watch video compilations of them:
1992: Jim Courier takes a dip
It was a win for Jim Courier over Stefan Edberg in the 1992 men’s final, but it wasn’t so much the match that we all remember.
The combination of heat and physical exertion saw Jim and his coach jump straight in to the Yarra River for a dip despite the Victoria health department’s warning that the river’s pollution levels were 18 times higher than acceptable for humans. Undeterred, the two embarked on this post-match tradition again the following year!
2009: A post-match hug
Professional sport brings with it an intensity that can go beyond the physical and for Roger Federer the emotion was just too much in 2009.
After losing the Australian Open championship to Rafael Nadal, Federer was overcome with emotion breaking down as he was presented with his runner-up trophy. In the ultimate show of sportsmanship and respect for his rival, Nadal approached Federer and comforted him with a hug.
2012: The longest Australian Open match in history
It doesn’t get more intense than the epic final between two of the best players in tennis history. Novak Djokovic’s victory against Rafael Nadal in 2012 had it all – drama, exceptional skill and the longest Australian Open match ever played. How long? Five hours and 53 minutes.
The longest grand slam in history and one of the most incredible, the two players were so exhausted afterwards that they almost collapsed during the presentation ceremony before organizing quickly arranged chairs for the tennis superstars.
Don’t miss out on being there as history is made at the 2017 Australian Open. Secure Australian Open tickets here.
For ten years Adele has captivated us time and time again with her powerhouse vocals, catchy pop melodies and lyrics about love, life and heartbreak.
Earlier this week a cryptic Adele TV ad fuelled rumours about a long-awaited Australian tour. Adele took to Twitter on Tuesday to officially announce the news, saying “Yep! I am coming down under”.
For further details go to https://t.co/nBO4QoSecU pic.twitter.com/W0d66Nsyg1
— Adele (@Adele) November 14, 2016
The tweet, inspired by her own recent hit Hello, confirmed that the singer-songwriter will be playing shows in five major cities, kicking things off in Perth in February 2017.
“G’Day it’s me... I was wondering if after 10 years in the game you’d finally like to meet me in: Brisbane, Sydney, Perth, Melbourne and Adelaide,” read the tweet in the form of a cheeky hand-written note.
Adele’s Australian fans have waited ten years for this tour – the same number of Grammys the British songstress has under her belt. In keeping with this, read on to learn ten things about Adele and get to know her a little better in the lead up to her visit to Oz.
Adele 2017 Australian Tour Dates
Tuesday 28 February - Domain Stadium, Perth
Saturday 4 March - The Gabba, Brisbane
Friday 10 March - ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Monday 13 March - Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
Saturday 18 March - Etihad Stadium, Melbourne
10 Things About Adele
- Her full name is Adele Laurie Blue Adkins.
- Growing up Adele was a big fan of the Spice Girls! Her favourite Spice Girl? Geri Halliwell AKA Ginger.
- Adele can rap – and she’s pretty good!
- The album titles Adele chooses aren’t as mysterious as they seem – they are the age she was when she created each one.
- She’s only 28 years old! Her birthdate is May 5, 1988.
- Adele suffered vocal haemorrhage not long after releasing her second album 21. Surgery was the only option to fix it and to ensure she recovered well Adele had to be silent for six weeks!
- Adele and Beyonce share the record for the most Grammys won in one night. Adele took home her six in 2012.
- She started singing at four years old.
- Adele’s biggest inspiration to pursue singing was 1950s American singer Etta James, who Adele discovered in her teens.
- Her most recent album 25 was Australia’s highest selling album in 2015, even though it hit the charts just weeks before the year ended! If that’s anything to go by, tickets for Adele’s 2017 Australian tour will sell FAST!