Australian Open, prestigious tennis tournament held each year in Melbourne, Australia. The Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon, and the United States Open make up the sport’s so-called grand slam events. Any player who captures all four events in one year is said to have won “the grand slam.” The Australian Open takes place every January and is played on a hard-court surface. Competitions include men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles, and mixed doubles (teams of one man and one woman).
The tournament began as the Australasian Tennis Championship in 1905, and women were first allowed to compete in 1922. As in the other grand slam events, professional players were barred from participation until the late 1960s. The tournament became the Australian Open Championship in 1969. After rotating among various sites, the event found a permanent home in the late 1980s at Flinders Park in Melbourne. The park was expanded and renamed Melbourne Park in 1995.
The tournament’s all-time men’s champion is Roy Emerson of Australia, who won the singles title six times in the 1960s. The all-time women’s champion is Australia’s Margaret Smith Court, who won the singles title an amazing 11 times in 14 years between 1960 and 1973.
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