History – Tradition
Tennis is deeply rooted in Australia. Generations of tennis stars come from down-under. The Australians were among the leading nations even before the start of professional tennis (ATP 1972, WTA 1973).
Australian Open at Kooyong-Stadium, 1982, Doubles-Finals.
Martina Navratilova, Pam Shriver vs. Claudia Kohde-Kilsch, Eva Pfaff 6:2, 6:4
The Australian Open was based on the grassy fields of Kooyong, a district of Melbourne. Up until the 1970s, the Australian Open was a secret tip among players or a tourney for locals. Starting only in the 1980s top stars began to travel all the way to Australia.
The move to Flinders Park in 1988 left the grass-court tradition. The new, modern tennis facility initially had 20 courts, 3 center courts and the first covered tennis stadium, the Rod Laver Arena.
The home of Tennis Australia, renamed Melbourne Park in 1997, has developed into the largest tennis festival in the world in the past 20 years. The number of tennis courts was almost doubled and all hospitality facilities for the spectators were continuously expanded.
The combination of structural changes and the encouragement of the top players turned the Australian Open the most popular Grand Slam of the tennis year.