Tennis Australia, earlier known as Lawn Tennis Association of Australia (LTAA) started the Australia Open in 1905, initially which was known as the Australasian Championships. Though started in 1905, the tournament was not designated as being a major championship until 1924, by the International Lawn Tennis Federation (ILTF). The tournament committee changed the structure of the tournament to include seeding at that time. It became the Australian Championships in 1927. However, it was in 1969 it came to be known as the Australian Open, officially.
There are several legendary players like Rod Laver, Margaret Court, Mats Wilander, Stefan Edberg, Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, Steffi Graf, Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Monica Seles, Martina Hingis, Arantxa Sánchez Vicario, Jennifer Capriati, Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, who had shown their dominance.
In 1969, the tournament was opened to all players, including professionals who were not allowed to play the traditional circuit. Rod Laver and Margaret Court scripted history in the tournament. Rod Laver won the men’s singles title in 1969, taking the first step towards completing a calendar Grand Slam. Till date, Rod Laver is the only men’s singles player to achieve a calendar Grand Slam in the Open Era. Arthur Ashe in 1970 became the first black tennis player to win a Grand Slam event.
In women’s singles, the legendary Margaret Court, another Australian won the title in 1969 and proceeded to defend it in the next two editions. In 1970, she also built on her Australian Open win to become the first-ever women’s singles winner of the coveted calendar Grand Slam.
This period was largely dominated by Australian and American players in men’s singles. Only Argentina’s Guillermo Vilas (1978 and 1979) broke the trend.
Then we saw the dominance of Sweden in Men’s Singles while USA and Germany dominated Women’s titles.
South Africa’s Johan Kriek won the 1981 and 1982 editions while Czech Republic’s Ivan Lendl won in 1989 and 1990. All five editions in between were shared between Swedes Mats Wilander (1983, 1984 and 1988) and Stefan Edberg (1985 and 1987). In women’s singles, US players made a clean sweep from 1981 to 1985 with Martina Navratilova winning three (1981, 1983 and 1985) and Chris Evert two (1982 and 1984). Germany’s Steffi Graf clinched a hat-trick of titles (1988, 1989 and 1990).
In between 1991 to 2003, we saw the rivalry between Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi. Though the 1991 and 1996 Australian Open men’s titles were won by German ace Boris Becker, but until 2000, they were neck to neck at the event, winning the Australian Open twice each – Sampras in 1994 and 1997, Agassi in 1995 and 2000. However, Agassi clinched two more Australian Opens in 2001 and 2003.
In Women’s Singles, Steffi Graf continued to show her dominance, but we saw the rise of Monica Seles, Martina Hingis, Arantxa Sánchez Vicario, Jennifer Capriati and Serena Williams, which gave us the opportunity to see multiple rivalries.
Since 2004, the Australian Open men’s singles event has been thoroughly dominated by two players – Switzerland’s Roger Federer and Serbia’s Novak Djokovic. At present, Novak Djokovic is the most successful Australian Open player in history with nine titles (2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2019, 2020 and 2021) followed by Roger Federer with six (2004, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2017 and 2018). Rafael Nadal won once in 2009. Serena Williams is the most successful women’s player of all-time at the event, with seven titles.
Australian Open winners in Open Era:
|1969||Rod Laver (Australia)||Margaret Court (Australia)|
|1970||Arthur Ashe (USA)||Margaret Court (Australia)|
|1971||Kane Rosewell (Australia)||Margaret Court (Australia)|
|1972||Kane Rosewell (Australia)||Virginia Wade (Britain)|
|1973||John Newcombe (Australia)||Margaret Court (Australia)|
|1974||Jimmy Connors (USA)||Evonne Cawley (Australia)|
|1975||John Newcombe (Australia)||Evonne Cawley (Australia)|
|1976||Mark Edmondson (Australia)||Evonne Cawley (Australia)|
|1977||Roscoe Tanner (USA)||Kerry Reid (Australia)|
|1977||Vitas Gerulaitis (USA)||Evonne Cawley (Australia)|
|1978||Guillermo Vilas (Argentina)||Christine O’Neil (Australia)|
|1979||Guillermo Vilas (Argentina)||Barbara Jordan (USA)|
|1980||Brian Teacher (USA)||Hana Mandlíková (Czechoslovakia)|
|1981||Johan Kriek (South Africa)||Martina Navratilova (USA)|
|1982||Johan Kriek (South Africa)||Chris Evert (USA)|
|1983||Mats Wilander (Sweden)||Martina Navratilova (USA)|
|1984||Stefan Edberg (Sweden)||Chris Evert (USA)|
|1985||Mats Wilander (Sweden)||Martina Navratilova (USA)|
|1987||Stefan Edberg (Sweden)||Hana Mandlíková (Czechoslovakia)|
|1988||Mats Wilander (Sweden)||Steffi Graf (Germany)|
|1989||Ivan Lendl (Czech Republic)||Steffi Graf (Germany)|
|1990||Ivan Lendl (Czech Republic)||Steffi Graf (Germany)|
|1991||Boris Becker (Germany)||Monica Seles (Yugoslavia)|
|1992||Jim Courier (USA)||Monica Seles (Yugoslavia)|
|1993||Jim Courier (USA)||Monica Seles (Yugoslavia)|
|1994||Pete Sampras (USA)||Steffi Graf (Germany)|
|1995||Andre Agassi (USA)||Mary Pierce (France)|
|1996||Boris Becker (Germany)||Monica Seles (USA)|
|1997||Pete Sampras (USA)||Martina Hingis (Switzerland)|
|1998||Petr Korda (Czech Republic)||Martina Hingis (Switzerland)|
|1999||Yevgeny Kafelnikov (Russia)||Martina Hingis (Switzerland)|
|2000||Andre Agassi (USA)||Lindsay Davenport (USA)|
|2001||Andre Agassi (USA)||Jennifer Capriati (USA)|
|2002||Thomas Johansson (Sweden)||Jennifer Capriati (USA)|
|2003||Andre Agassi (USA)||Serena Williams (USA)|
|2004||Roger Federer (Switzerland)||Justine Henin (Belgium)|
|2005||Marat Safin (Russia)||Serena Williams (USA)|
|2006||Roger Federer (Switzerland)||Amélie Mauresmo (France)|
|2007||Roger Federer (Switzerland)||Serena Williams (USA)|
|2008||Novak Djokovic (Serbia)||Maria Sharapova (Russia)|
|2009||Rafael Nadal (Spain)||Serena Williams (USA)|
|2010||Roger Federer (Switzerland)||Serena Williams (USA)|
|2011||Novak Djokovic (Serbia)||Kim Clijsters (Belgium)|
|2012||Novak Djokovic (Serbia)||Victoria Azarenka (Belarus)|
|2013||Novak Djokovic (Serbia)||Victoria Azarenka (Belarus)|
|2014||Stan Wawrinka (Switzerland)||Li Na (China)|
|2015||Novak Djokovic (Serbia)||Serena Williams (USA)|
|2016||Novak Djokovic (Serbia)||Angelique Kerber (Germany)|
|2017||Roger Federer (Switzerland)||Serena Williams (USA)|
|2018||Roger Federer (Switzerland)||Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark)|
|2019||Novak Djokovic (Serbia)||Naomi Osaka (Japan)|
|2020||Novak Djokovic (Serbia)||Sofia Kenin (USA)|
|2021||Novak Djokovic (Serbia)||Naomi Osaka (Japan)|
Courtesy: Olympics.com Website