Australian Open Tennis Championship History
The 2010 Australian Open Tennis Championship will be the 98th staging of the event that over the years has become one of the four tennis Grand Slam events. Prior to 1969, the Tournament was known as the Australian Championship, but since the ‘Open’ era it has become known as the Australian Open. It is held each year at Melbourne Park and since 1988 it has been held in January, marking the opening Grand Slam of the year.
1987 saw the last time the Tournament was held on grass and the mens title was won by Swede, Stefan Edberg, who had also been a three time winner at the other premier grass court Grand Slam event, Wimbledon. The ladies Title was won by Hana Mandlikova. From 1988 the Tournament surface changed to Rebound Ace, progress being progress, the surfaces at the Tournament changed yet again last year to the heat retentive Plexi-cushion.
In the mid 90’s a huge investment into facilities at Melbourne Park, saw attendances soar to near the half million mark and Melbourne became almost a carnival event as fans flocked to watch the opening Grand Slam of the year.
The Centre Court is known as the Rod Laver court and forms part of the $65-million development. The Vodafone Arena which is an awesome sight is also one of the most significant advancements in the Open’s history. The latest highlight of both stadiums is the presence of a retractable roof. This feature ensures that tennis betting can continue irrespective of inclement weather.
The innovation has been so popular that even Wimbledon, the most traditional Tournament in the world, has installed a roof over the famed Centre Court. These days, the Australian Open is known as the 'Happy Slam' by many of the tennis’ elite including Roger Federer.