The Australian Open was the last of the 4 Grand Slams to include the Women's Singles and Doubles competitions to its itinerary. This happened in 1922. The Australian Open offered Women athletes equal pay as Men beginning from the year 2001.
Over the course of the tournament history, the competition has been played on 3 surfaces - first on grass from 1922 till 1987. Following which the surface used was the Rebound Ace. From 2008 onwards, the surface in use is the Plexicushion Prestige.
No female tennis athlete has won the title on both grass and Rebound Ace. However, Serena Williams is the only athlete to have won the Australian Open title on the Rebound Ace and the Plexicushion surface.
Athletes belonging to 13 different nations have won the Australian Open trophy with Australia leading the pack. However, in the Open Era, the United States of America is at the top with its athletes emerging victorious 17 times. The winner of the competition is provided a replica of the Daphne Akhurst Memorial trophy named in honor of the great champion of the same name who won the title on 5 occasions.
We take a look back at 5 of the most successful Australian Open champions in the Open Era.
Disclaimer: We exclude Nancye Wynne Bolton and Daphne Akhurst from the list even though they won 6 and 5 titles respectively as they were inactive during the Open Era.
# Monica Seles - 4 titles
Yugoslavian born Monica Seles was one of the most dominant players of the 1990s. A prodigy, she peaked in her teens rising to the top of the rankings and winning Grand Slam titles. Of her 9 Grand Slam titles, 8 came as a teenager - an all-time record.
If not for the horrifying knife attack on her, she would have probably gone on to win a lot more. In fact, many tennis commentators have expressed their opinion that if Seles hadn't faced that incident, she would have gone on to become the most successful Grand Slam champion of all-time.
Seles won 4 Australian Open crowns including a hat-trick of titles between 1991 and 1993. Her last and only Grand Slam triumph after the stabbing incident was at the Australian Open of 1996.