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The Australian Open

Peter Maltezos's picture

The Australian Open

The Australian Open at the old Kooyong Stadium.


Centenary of the Australian Open 1905-2005

Text extracts from Australia Post prestige booklet


In the beginning


The Australian Open began as the Australian Tennis Championships at the Warehousemen’s Cricket Ground in Melbourne on Tuesday 21 November 1905. In order to join the Davis Cup competition (which had begun in the US in 1900) a national association had to be formed, but it was not until 1904 that the Australian Lawn Tennis Association, which also included New Zealand, was formally constituted. The Association was required to organize the Davis Cup challenge, to control interstate matches and to run an annual Australian Championships. It was agreed that the first championship would take place in Melbourne in 1905 and thereafter on a rotating basis in various capital city locations and in New Zealand.


Finding a home


In 1972 the LTAA (now Tennis Australia) decided that the Australian Open required a permanent site and the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club in Melbourne won the honour because it had the largest capacity and had attracted the greatest patronage.


By 1980 the facilities at Kooyong were considered inadequate with little room to expand. Because of the necessity to maintain the Australian Open as a Grand Slam tournament on the world stage, the Victorian government decided to construct a purpose-built venue at Flinders Park (now Melbourne Park), situated on the Yarra River, close to the city centre.


Designed to be adapted for various events the main stadium included a retractable roof allowing the game to continue despite rain or excessive heat. Another consequence of the retractable roof was that a grass surface could not be used and so a rubberized synthetic surface designed in Australia and known as Rebound Ace was chosen.


The new venue opened in 1988 and was an immediate hit with the players and public alike. Today these world-class facilities include five show courts (two with retractable roofs) and 19 other outdoor match and practice courts, as well as four indoor practice courts. The Australian Open is now the biggest sporting event on the Australian calendar, attracting over 500,000 visitors each year.



Above, from several years ago, Melbourne Park aerial, including Olympic Park in foreground and MCG in background.  

Below, aerial of a full house at Kooyong from well before the South-Eastern Freeway (now Monash Freeway) was built.


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Peter Maltezos's picture

Postcard from 2004 of Melbourne Park, home of The Australian Open.

The Australian Open

I collect, therefore I am. thecollectormm.com.au

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Peter Maltezos's picture

A couple of recent photos.

The Australian Open

From: http://www.tennis.com.au


The Australian Open

From: http://www.platinumpass.com.au

I collect, therefore I am. thecollectormm.com.au

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Peter Maltezos's picture


Australian Open Smashes Attendance Records
28 January 2019

Australian Open 2019 has attracted record crowds to the newly upgraded Melbourne Park to see the world’s best tennis players hit the court at the world’s best tennis venue.

More than 780,000 fans attended the two-week grand slam, smashing the previous attendance record of 743,667 set in 2018

The men’s and women’s finals were aired live in more than 220 territories on more than 75 different TV channels, reaching more than 900 million homes daily and showcasing Victoria to the world.

With Australian Open 2019 run and won, the focus now turns to making sure the tournament continues to grow.

Work will start within weeks on Stage 3 of the Melbourne Park redevelopment, with the Andrews Labor Government investing $271 million to build a new show court in the central plaza area.

Over the last two weeks Melbourne Park has seen some fantastic tennis on the outer courts highlighting the need for a new show court.

As part of the Stage 3 package of works, there will also be a new function and media centre, central kitchen and a logistics hub.

The existing function and media centre will be demolished later this month to make way for the new facilities.

Works on Stage 3 are scheduled for completion prior to the 2023 Australian Open, ensuring that the Open remains at Melbourne Park until at least 2036.

Each year the Australian Open injects more than $290 million into the Victorian economy and creates more than 1,000 jobs.

I collect, therefore I am. thecollectormm.com.au

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James Thompson's picture

Oh,the great place. I prefer baksetball but tennis is very important for or country..

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Danish Khan's picture
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sala fox's picture

excellent information

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