A philatelic preview of Grand Slam tournaments - Australian Open
The Grand Slams are the most important tennis tournaments in a calendar year. These tournaments are operated by the International Tennis Federation (ITF). The Grand Slam schedule consists of the Australian Open in mid January, the French Open in May-June, Wimbledon in June-July and the US Open in August-September.
Wimbledon is the oldest of the slams and was founded in 1877, followed by the US Open in 1881, the French Open in 1891 and the Australian Open in 1905 but only Wimbledon was a major prior to 1924-25.
Wimbledon is played on Grass, French Open on Clay, and the US Open and the Australian Open are played on Hard Courts. The term Grand Slam refers to winning all four of these major tournaments in the same calendar year.
The Australian Open was first played at the Warehouseman's Cricket Ground in 1905. This facility is now known as the Albert Reserve Tennis Centre.
The Australian Open 2019 will be played at Melbourne Park from 14 to 29 January 2019. This will be the 107th edition since 1905 and 51st in the Open era.
Australia Post issued a set of two stamps on 11 January 2005 to commemorate the Centenary of the Australian Open. These stamps feature a man and a woman playing tennis. A first day cover with a postmark of Melbourne (host city ) was also released.
Rodney George Laver, AC, MBE ( born 09 August 1938) is an Australian tennis legend. He has won 11 Grand Slam Titles including three Australian Open men's singles titles in 1960, 1962 and 1969. He is the only player achieve the Grand Slam (1962 & 1969) and the only one to do in the open era. The Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne Park, the main show court at the Australian Open is named after him.
Margaret Court, AC, MBE (born 16 July 1942) is an Australian women's tennis player who has won 11 Australian Open women's singles titles, including seven titles before 1969. The Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne Park is named after her.
Australia issued four stamps in her honor on 24 January 2003. One stamp shows her in action and in the other one, she is seen holding the Wimbledon trophy.
Sir Norman Everard Brookes ( 14 November 1877 - 28 September 1966) was an Australian tennis player who won three Grand Slam singles titles (Wimbledon in 1907 & 1914, Australasian Championships in 1911). The Australian Open men's singles trophy, the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup, is named in his honour. Australia issued a stamp in his memory on 18 February 1981.
Anthony Frederick Wilding (31 October 1883 - 9 May 1915) was the world no 1 tennis player from New Zealand. He was killed in during the World War I in 1915 in France. Wilding had won 11 Grand Slam Titles (six in singles and five in doubles) and was the only player from New Zealand to have won a Grand slam singles title. He also won the Davis Cup four times playing for Australasia and a had Bronze medal at the Indoor singles tennis event in 1912 Olympics.
He won the 1906 and 1909 Australasian Open titles and was also the runner up in 1908 & 1909 Australasian Men's Doubles Championships.
New Zealand issued a 45 cent stamp in his honor on 12 Aug 1992
Bjorn Borg, the legendary tennis player from Sweden never won an Australian Open title and his best finish was a third round in 1974. Aland issued a postage stamp on Bjorn Borg on 26 May 2005.
Justine Henin (born 1 June 1982) is a former Belgian Tennis player who has won seven Grand slam singles titles including the Australian Open in 2004. She was also the runner-up at the Australian Open in 2006 & 2010. Belgium issued a stamp in her honour on 21 November 2003.
Kim Clijsters ( born 8 June 1983) is a former Belgian Tennis player who has won four Grand Slam singles titles - three US Open and an Australian Open in 2011. She was also a runner-up at the Australian Open in 2004. Belgium issued a stamp in her honour on 21 November 2003.
St Vincent issued a set of stamps on 22 June 1987 on tennis players, some of who have won titles at the Australian Open
Jimmy Connors ( born 2 September 1952) is an American tennis player who won eight Grand Slam singles titles including the Australian Open in 1974.
Anne Hobbs ( born 21 Aug 1959) is a former British tennis player. She was the runner-up in Australian Open women's doubles category in 1983 and was a runner-up in mixed doubles category in 1987.
Steffi Graf (born 14 June 1969) is a former German tennis player who has won 22 Grand Slam singles titles including four Australian Open singles titles (1988,89,90 and 94). In 1988, she became the only tennis player to achieve the Golden Slam -winning all Grand Slam titles and the Olympic Gold medal.
Anders Jarryd ( 13 July 1961) was a Swedish tennis player who has won eight Grand Slam men's doubles titles including the Australian Open men's doubles title in 1987 with Stefan Edberg.
Roger Federer (born 8 August 1981) is a Swiss tennis player who has won a joint-record six Australian Open men's singles titles and a total of 20 Grand Slam singles titles. He is the current Australian Open Champion. Switzerland issued a stamp to honour Roger Federer on 10 Oct 2007. He is seen holding the Wimbledon Trophy in the stamp.
Serena Williams (born 26 September 1981) is an American tennis player who has won a record 39 Grand Slam titles ( 23 Singles, 14 Women's Doubles and 2 Mixed Doubles). She has won seven Australian Open singles titles, which is an open era record.
Novak Djokovic ( born 22 May 1987) is a Serbian tennis player who is currently ranked No 1 in the world. He has won 14 Grand Slam singles titles including six joint-record Australian Open titles. Serbia issued a stamp in his honour on 04 April 2008. In 2008 Djokovic won the Australian Open for the first time.
Published 04 Jan 2019, 08:21 IST