The Australian Open, the youngest among the Grand Slams was established in the year 1905. In its 113 year history, the event has been held in 7 different cities (Sydney, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane and Melbourne in Australia, Hastings, and Christchurch in New Zealand).
The Australian Open is probably the most physically demanding of all the Grand Slams owing to the scorching Australian summer heat where temperatures can go up to 45 degree Celsius. An Extreme Heat Policy rule has been introduced and this year, the 10-minute break will be applicable to men too if the conditions become unplayable.
Athletes from 16 different countries have won the Australian Open over the years with the host nation leading the tally with its athletes winning a total of 50 titles till date (however only 6 of them have come in the Open Era).
The tournament has been played on 3 surfaces till date. Until 1987, it was played on grass and later till 2007 on Rebound Ace Surface. The present surface is the Plexicushion Prestige surface. Mats Wilander is the only player to have won the tournament on grass and Rebound Ace while Roger Federer is the only one to do on Rebound Ace and Plexicushion.
Here's a look at 6 of the most successful Australian Open champions.
# Jack Crawford - 4 titles
Australian tennis legend Jack Crawford was the first person to come close to completing the Calendar Slam. This was way back in 1933. Crawford won the Australian Open that year (back then the tournament was called Australasian Tennis Championships). Later he won the French Open as well as the Wimbledon Championships. He made the final of the US Open but fell short despite leading by two sets. His asthmatic condition meant that he lost in 5 sets to Fred Perry.
Crawford who was known to drink a glass of whiskey between sets was known for his technical skills more so than power. He won the Australasian Championships on 4 different occasions in 1931, 1932, 1933 and 1935.