The Australian Open is a major tennis tournament held annually over the last fortnight of January in Melbourne, Australia. First held in 1905, the tournament is chronologically the first of the four Grand Slam tennis events of the year – the other three being the French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open. It features men’s and women’s singles; men’s, women’s, and mixed doubles and junior’s championships; as well as wheelchair, legends and exhibition events. Prior to 1988 the tournament had been played on grass. Since 1988 two types of hardcourt surfaces have been used at Melbourne Park – green Rebound Ace to 2007 and blue Plexicushion from 2008.
The Australian Open typically has high attendance, second only to the US Open. It was also the first Grand Slam tournament to feature indoor play during wet weather or extreme heat with its three primary courts, the Rod Laver Arena, Hisense Arena and the refurbished Margaret Court Arena equipped with retractable roofs.
Prize money and trophies
The prize money awarded in the men’s and women’s singles tournaments
is distributed equally. The total prize money for the 2015 tournament is
AUD $40,000,000. In 2015 the prize money is to be distributed as
|Mixed Doubles||Prize money*||$142,500||$71,500||$35,600||$16,300||–||–||$8,200||$4000||–||–||–|
* per team
Note: All amounts in Australian dollars. (The winner’s prize money
approximates to GBP £1,686,000; EUR €2,195,000; USD $2,547,000.)
On 4 October 2011, when they launched Australian Open 2012, the
tournament director announced that the prize money was increased to
A$26,000,000. It is the highest prize money for a tennis tournament. It
was announced the prize money will be increased to AUD $40 million from
The names of the tournament winners are inscribed on the perpetual trophy Cups.
- The women’s singles winner is presented with the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup.
- The men’s singles winner is presented with the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup.
- Australian Open was voted the best tennis tournament in the 2013 Tennis Magazine.