It was a pleasure to watch the Australian Open which ended three weeks ago. It is definitely my favourite tennis tournament, perhaps because the hard court surface is the most universal and the games – in my humble opinion – the most spectacular. Each year, I am impatiently waiting for January to begin when the first grand slam tournament takes place. Today, I have put together a few fun facts about the Australian Open tennis tournament.
Caroline Wozniacki’s farewell
This year’s edition was very interesting also because some time ago, I had the opportunity of meeting the parents of Caroline Wozniacki, the Danish player of Polish origins. The recent Australian Open was her last tournament so was holding my fingers crossed for her. Sadly, Caroline had to leave the competition after the third round and ended her career altogether as planned. Still, I will never forget the women’s singles finals in 2018 when Caroline won in Melbourne and got her first and only great slam title.
Margaret Court – A controversial champion
Speaking of women’s tennis, I cannot forget about the legendary Australian player, Margaret Court. This incredible contestant won a total of 64 (!) grand slam titles in singles, doubles and mixed pairs. She was honoured for her many victories by her home country and the tennis association in 2003 when one of the main courts in Melbourne Park was named after her.
Once she ended her career as a professional tennis player, Margaret Court became a religious activist. She is known for her homophobic statements which are condemned by many who do not share her religious views.
A lot of money in prizes
Australian Open is a tournament with a huge pool of prizes. This year, the budget of the tournament amounted to AUD 71 million, which is approximately PLN 187 million! Players can earn AUD 90,000 per performance in the first singles round and the winner gets a total of AUD 4,120,000 in prizes. It also pays off to play in the doubles first round as players get AUD 6,250 per game, while the winning pair receives AUD 760,000. The stake is high, wouldn’t you say?
Novak Djokovic – The Serbian terminator Down Under
This year’s winner Novak Djokovic became the Melbourne champion for the eight time to date. As such he now holds the title of having the highest number of wins in this grand slam tournament. I have the impression that Djokovic still has a lot up his sleeve. The second ranking players with the largest number of Australian Open wins are ex aequo Roger Federer and Roy Emerson with six victories each.