If you’re a tennis fan, you are probably already aware that the Australian Open is in full swing in the land down under. The world’s best players are duking it out to win this prestigious tournament, and fans around the world are glued to their television screen, eyes darting back and forth.
And for those of not-so-ardent fans, do not worry, we will do our best to catch you up to speed in this informative article about the Australian Open, its rich history and the popularity it has steadily garnered over the years.
The Grand Slams
The Grand Slams (or majors) are the most prestigious of all tennis tournaments. There are four of them – The French Open, Wimbledon, US Open, and the one we will be focusing on, the Australian Open.
The Australian Open takes place in, you guessed it, Australia in the last two weeks of January every year. It is the first Grand Slam of the year and features men’s and women’s singles; men’s and women’s doubles’; mixed doubles.
It is followed closely by millions around the globe and is one of the most-watched sporting events in the world.
History Of The Australian Open
The tournament was inaugurated in 1905 at the Warehouseman’s Cricket Ground in Melbourne by Tennis Australia. Initially known as the Australasian Championships, it became the Australian Championships in 1927 and the Australian Open in 1969. Initially, it was not considered to be the premier tournament that it is today, but all that changed in 1924 when the International Lawn Tennis Federation bestowed upon it this coveted title.
The tournament at first didn’t see a notable number of international participants due to Australia’s remote geographical location. In fact, even fellow Australian’s found it hard to traverse the landscape from the far reaches of the country. It took until the 1980’s before the premier names in Tennis began showing up for the tournament. But as it grew in popularity and as the travel got easier, things began to change in a hurry.
Explosion In Popularity
Not only did the best players in the world begin participating every year, but the attendance also rose sharply with each passing year. From 140,089 people in 1987 to an astounding 796,435 people in 2019, the growth has been steady.
Now, it is regarded as one of the most coveted tournaments in the world that are eagerly awaited by players and fans alike. The attendance numbers hit a record high last year. The event was watched by over 900 million and aired on more than 75 TV networks.
Fast forward to this year, the Australian Open, like Tennis itself, is more popular than ever before.
Predictions For This Year
With the action already heating up this year, there is a lot of talk about who will be taking home the glory this year. Among the favorites in the Men’s tournament are the usual suspects like Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic, with the Djoker being favored by oddsmakers to take home the cup.
In the Women’s side of things, the current number one ranked, Ashleigh Barty is the betting favorite while the current champion Naomi Osaka is close on her heels.
No matter who comes out on top, the tournament is set to be a fun-filled affair that is not to be missed!
The Role Of Fantasy Tennis
In recent years, due to the continued development of mobile applications and the wider than ever availability of mobile phones, fans can actively participate in their favorite sports. While the professionals battle it out on the court, millions of fans around the world will be fighting their own battles in the form of fantasy tennis.
With the advent of fantasy tennis app development into the market, numerous fantasy tennis apps have emerged to give tennis fans a new pastime. Fans can now not only watch the sport but be actively invested in it. Fantasy tennis leagues have cropped up around the world and add to the overall experience of the sport.
Whether you’re just watching for the love of the sport or you have your fingers crossed secretly for your fantasy predictions, the Australian Open is unfolding in all its glory, and we’re all here to witness it.