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The Australian Open is not just a big championship but also one of the most important sports tournaments in Australia and the world. As one of the most popular sports in Australia, tennis has produced some of the best international athletes, and most chase the opportunities to compete in this event. Find out what to expect from this tournament before you watch it.
History of the Australian Open
The first Australian Open started in November 1905, organized by the Lawn Tennis Association of Australia (now Tennis Australia, and was played on a cricket court. The tournament’s name also changed several times, starting from Australasian Championships to the Australian Championships in 1927 and finally the Australian Open in 1969.
Several Australian cities have hosted the match since its birth, such as Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, and Brisbane. However, in 1988, it was decided that Melbourne became the permanent location of the match. Now, the Australian Open is held annually at Melbourne Park. The Australian Open is the first of the four international Grand Slam championships in the world, before the French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open.
Australian Open has seen both Australian and the world’s greatest tennis players competing on the court. The current champions from the men’s category include names such as Rafael Nadal, Nick Kyrgios, Ivan Dodig, and multiple records holder Novak Djokovic. Legendary women players such as Naomi Osaka, Serena Williams, Martina Navratilova, and Margaret Court have also competed here, along with current champions like Kristina Mladenovic and Ashleigh Bartley.
What Makes the Australian Open Special?
The Australian Open is a special event for Melbourne, dubbed the Best Sports Tourism Destination in Australia. Among the other sports calendars in Melbourne, this tennis tournament is the biggest, drawing almost 800,000 local and international audiences every year. The tournament lasts two weeks and coincides with Australia Day, making it a big holiday event for Australians.
The Australian Open is also the place where sports enthusiasts can see the best of the best players compete. Aside from 2,000 ranking points (the biggest among other tennis championships), men and women winners from the Single Player category bring home more than 2 million US dollars, while the runner-ups bring home 1.575 million US dollars.
The Australian Open always embraces the latest technology to make viewing more comfortable for everyone. This year, the championship started using technology that translates the sounds and movements of the balls, allowing blind people and people with sight impairment to enjoy the action. There is also a new technology called Hawk-Eye that sensors and makes line calls instead of people, minimizing court disputes.
Who Sponsors the Australian Open?
The Australian Open draws lucrative sponsors from big names, allowing it to provide generous prize money, new technology, and other things that give this championship huge stature. The City of Melbourne became the official sponsor for the tournament since the city became the permanent venue. Ford gave a lucrative sponsorship deal in 1994, which made the tournament known as the 1994 Ford Australia Open at that time.
Nowadays, there are several brands that are strongly associated with this championship. In 2002, KIA became another major sponsor that also provided transportation for the players and team members. In 2008, Rolex started to become the official timekeeper and brand associate for the Australian Open. ANZ followed in 2010 by becoming the official bank for the tournament.
Aside from main sponsors, the Australian Open also draws many local and international partners. Blackmores is an Australian brand that provides supplements and vitamins for players. Emirates provides flights while Accor Hotels opens its properties for players, team members, and fans from around the world. Indian tech company Infosys provides the technology used in the champion, and Dunlop makes all the tennis balls.
How to Get Australian Open Tickets?
Want to watch the Australian Open? Since this tournament is popular, make sure to book your tickets early. The prices range from 51 to 397 Australian dollars, depending on the arena, seat, and time of the match. You can even find multi-session tickets for better deals or “superbox” tickets that offer food, beverages, and serving staff.
Some ticket websites give you early bird discounts if you order before the end of the year, so make sure to shop around quickly!
The Australian Open is a great tournament to watch for sports enthusiasts around the world. Book your trip to Melbourne, enjoy the biggest tennis championship in the world, and join the others in Melbourne’s exciting sports culture appreciation.