The Grand Slam season begins at the Australian Open, where fans from across the globe come for stellar tennis and a laid-back atmosphere in Melbourne. Of late, the Grand Slam of Asia/Pacific has been a playground for the Big Four, with either Novak Djokovic (6; 2008, ’11-’13, ’15-’16), Roger Federer (5; 2004, ’06-’07, ’10, ’17) and Rafael Nadal (2009) having won all but two of the Australian Open titles since 2004. Russian Marat Safin (2005) and Swiss Stan Wawrinka (2014) broke the streak. Brit Andy Murray has finished runner-up a record five times. Main draw play in 2018 will run through 15-28 January.
The Australian Open is one of the biggest sporting events in Australia and the professional tennis circuit. Of the four Grand Slams held each year, the Australian Open is the first and held at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne Park. Since it began in 1905, the Australian Open’s popularity and excitement has been growing year upon year and to this day has drawn crowds of around 700,000 in total over its two week schedule. Those that attend can expect to be served an all round sporting experience including performances from Australia’s best music acts at the “Grand Slam Oval”, family friendly activities at the “Garden Square” and of course world class tennis! The Australian Open from start to finish has hosted the most famous tennis matches ever, including Chris Evert-Lloyd’s epic win over Martina Navratilova in 1982, Pete Sampras’ five set triump over Andre Agassi in the 2000 men’s semi-final and the Williams sisters’ battle in the 2003 women’s final. The modern day legends Andy Murray, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic who have produced undoubtedly the best tennis in recent history will also be on show.