The Australian Open is managed by Tennis Australia, formerly the Lawn Tennis Association of Australia (LTAA), and was first played at the Warehouseman's Cricket Ground in St Kilda Road, Melbourne. 2004 was the 92st staging of the event (99th year due to interruption of the War years).
The tournament was first played in 1905 as The Australasian Championships, became the Australian Championships in 1927 and the Australian Open in 1969. Since 1905, The Championships have been staged at six different venues as follows: Melbourne [46 times], Sydney [17 times] Adelaide [14 times], Brisbane [eight times], Perth [three times] and New Zealand [twice] in 1906 & 1912.
In 1972, it was decided to stage the Tournament in the one city each year, as opposed to visiting various states across the nation, and the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club was selected due to Melbourne attracting the biggest patronage.
Melbourne Park (formerly Flinders Park) was
constructed in time for the 1988 Open to meet the demands of the
evolving tournament that had outgrown Kooyong's capacity. The move to
Melbourne Park was an immediate success, with a 90 per cent increase in
attendance in 1988 (266,436) on the previous year at Kooyong (140,000).
Men's singles: Ken Rosewall (18 years, two months) in 1953.
Women's singles: Martina Hingis (16 years, three months) in 1997.
Men's doubles: Lew Hoad (18 years, two months) in 1953.
Women's doubles: Mirjana Lucic (15 years, 10 months) in 1998.
Mixed doubles: Venus Williams (17 years, seven months) in 1998.
Men's singles: Ken Rosewall (37 years, two months) in 1972.
Women's singles: Thelma Long (35 years, eight months) in 1954.
Men's doubles: Norman Brookes (46 years, two months) in 1924.
Women's doubles: Thelma Long (37 years, seven months) in 1956.
Most successive singles
Men: Roy Emerson (five) 1963-1967.
Women: Margaret Smith (seven) 1960-1966.
Most successive doubles
Men: Adrian Quist (10) 1935-1950.
Women: Martina Navratilova / Pam Shriver (seven) 1983-1989.
Triple titles (singles, doubles, mixed doubles)
Men: John Hawkes 1926; Jean Borotra 1928; Jack Crawford 1932.
Women: Daphne Akhurst 1925 / 1928 / 1929; Nancye Wynne Bolton 1940/1947/1948; Thelma Long 1952; Margaret Smith 1963.
Junior and Senior Champions (singles champions who previously won a junior singles title)
Men: Jack Crawford, Vivian McGrath, Adrian Quist, John Bromwich, Dinny Pails, Frank Sedgman, Ken McGregor, Ken Rosewall, Lew Hoad, Rod Laver, John Newcombe, Stefan Edberg.
Women: Joan Hartigan, Emily Westacott, Thelma Long, Beryl Penrose, Mary Carter-Reitano, Kerry Reid, Evonne Cawley, Chris O'Neil.
Left-handed Singles Champions
Men: Horace Rice (1907), Norman Brookes (1911), John Hawkes (1926), Mervyn Rose (1954), Rod Laver (1960/1962/1969), Jimmy Connors (1974), Guillermo Vilas (Dec. 1978/1979), Roscoe Tanner (1977), Petr Korda (1998).
Women: Martina Navratilova (1981/1983/1985), Monica Seles (1991/1992/1993/1996).
Biggest Gap between First and Last Singles Titles
Men: Ken Rosewall (20 years) 1953-1972.
Women: Nancye Wynne Bolton (15 years) 1937-1951.
Men: (6-0 6-0 6-0) Recorded by six men - James Anderson (first round 1925), Fred Perry (quarter final 1935), John Bromwich (first round 1949), Neale Fraser (first round 1953), Martin Mulligan (first round 1960), Richard Russell (first round 1966).
Women: (6-0 6-0) Recorded by 13 women, including four in 1998 (Mary Pierce achieving the feat twice). Margaret Court achieved the feat four times and Wendy Turnbull three times.
Men: Mark Edmondson (1976).
Women: Chris O'Neil (1978).
Champions Abroad but not at home
(Six former Australian players who won Grand Slam singles titles overseas but failed to capture their native crown):
Neale Fraser: three-times Australian runner-up (Wimbledon and US champion).
Fred Stolle: twice Australian runner-up (French and US champion).
Mal Anderson: twice Australian runner-up (US champion).
Tony Roche: Australian semi finalist (French champion).
Lesley Turner Bowrey: twice Australian runner-up (French champion).
Pat Cash: twice Australian runner-up (Wimbledon champion).
- John Newcombe won three Wimbledon titles and one US Open crown before winning the Australian Open in Melbourne in 1973.
- Rhys Gemmell (1921 men's singles champion) is the only Australian-born champion not to have played Davis Cup for his country.
- The 1998 Australian Open saw two of the five senior titles won by wildcards - Martina Hingis and Mirjana Lucic in the women's doubles and Justin Gimelstob and Venus Williams in the mixed doubles.
AUSTRALIAN OPEN BRINGS IN MORE THAN $200 MILLION
AND 100,000 VISITORS
The Australian Open continues to be a major asset for Australia with new research by the National Institute of Economic and Industry Research (NIEIR) revealing the 2004 tournament alone brought a gross economic benefit in excess of $203 million and attracted over 100,000 visitors to Melbourne.
This figure represents an economic benefit increase of 45% over the past five years, even adjusted for CPI.
The Economic Impact evaluation revealed that at Australian Open 2004:
- 43 per cent
of patrons came from outside Melbourne (7.4 per
cent – overseas, 20.4 per cent – interstate and 15.2 per
cent – elsewhere in Victoria);
- The 17,802 overseas visitors
(up 43 per cent on 1999 and up 25 per cent on 2002)
stayed an average of 15.8 nights;
- The 48,883 interstate visitors
(up 83 per cent on 1999) stayed an average of 5.5
- In total they generated almost
325,000 additional visitor nights – up 49 per cent
over the last five years;
The tournament also created 3,760 full year equivalent employment positions – up 79 per cent over the last five years;
Tennis Australia President, Geoff Pollard, said, "The Australian Open is a major economic asset for Australia. Even at current levels, the Australian Open could be expected to bring in excess of one billion dollars of economic benefit to the economy over the next five years.
"When you consider that 2005 will be the Centenary year for the tournament, the gross economic contribution the Australian Open has made over the years is immense."
Australian Open 2004 attracted 521,691 visitors through the gates at Melbourne Park, exceeding the magic half million mark for a fifth successive year. A record 3,830 hours of action and colour were broadcast to 182 territories worldwide with Asia the dominant market taking 41 per cent of total hours broadcast.
Research found the number of International visitors has risen 43 per cent in the past five years in this high yield sector - and they’re staying longer. Comprising 7.4 per cent of total patrons, these international visitors stayed on average 15.8 nights (up from 14 nights in 2002).
NIEIR’s research also found that 65 per cent of interstate visitors, and 35 per cent of overseas patrons, visited Victoria primarily for the purpose of attending the Australian Open. The research also revealed that for 20 per cent of the overseas visitors, attending the Australian Open was their sole motivation for coming to Australia.
Interstate visitors have almost doubled in the past five years to just over a fifth of total patrons with the highest proportion in 2004 coming from New South Wales (53.1 per cent).
Australian Open Chief Executive Paul McNamee said, "The Australian Open is big business for Victoria and for the nation’s domestic and international tourism industry, and promotes a positive image of Australia that is broadcast annually around the world.
"Year-on-year the Australian Open makes a significant contribution to creating jobs and attracting over a hundred thousand visitors from outside Melbourne to the tournament."
And that impact looks set to further increase, according to McNamee, as the Australian Open targets the neighbouring Asian region, and looks at new ways to develop Melbourne Park as a year-round centre of excellence for the sport.
"With unrivalled public facilities here at Melbourne Park we are running tennis camps and tournaments which offer visitors the chance to play at the home of the Grand Slam of Asia/Pacific," said McNamee.
"This week sees a prime example with teams from 16 different countries in the Asia/Oceania region converging on the venue for the ITF World Junior Tennis Competition Qualifier which begins today (10 May)."
‘Virtual’ visitors also logged on in their millions during Australian Open 2004, with the tournament’s official website www.Australian Open.com attracting over 1.8 million different tennis fans from around the world who made 11 million visits during the fortnight and stayed on average for one hour 14 minutes.
The patron-friendly atmosphere of the tournament continues to be reflected in the proportion of females to males attending in 2004 which at 59:41 is higher than normal for a major sporting event in Australia.