Melbourne will be in the spotlight yet again as all eyes in the tennis world turn to the first of the four grand slams, the Australian Open. With all the biggest stars in attendance and with their sights set on the ultimate prize, the competition is tense and entertaining matches are to be expected.
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The Australian Open has been a staple of the Australian tennis calendar for many years now with overall attendances across the opening day reaching their peak during the 2017 tournament.
Broadcasters Channel Seven will be keen to build on the success of the 2017 tournament that saw several TV and viewership records broken as well as ratings success over their commercial television rivals.
WHEN DOES THE 2018 AUSTRALIAN OPEN START?
The Australian Open will start on Monday, January 15 and runs for 14 days with the women’s final played on the 27th of January and the men’s final on the 28th of January.
WHERE DO I WATCH?
For those in front of the TV, Channel Seven will offer full and comprehensive coverage of the Australian Open over the course of the day with designated day, afternoon and evening sessions.
The Australian Open website also offers live feeds of the games via AO TV live, their own streaming service with features, highlights and post-game interviews.
The Australian Open also has an official Youtube channel that will feature exclusive clips and footage from the tournament as well as player interviews.
HOW CAN I GET TICKETS?
Australian Open tickets are split into two categories; multi-session tickets and single session tickets which were released on the 4th and 10th of October, 2017 respectively. Tickets can be booked via ticketek, by calling the Ticketek call centre or the Australian Open and Emirates Australian Open Series booking line.
Tickets are also available for tailored event experiences that can be purchased by contacting the Australian Open Hospitality team.
Tickets are non-refundable and cannot be reallocated once bought. Children aged between three and fourteen as well as concession card holders are entitled to discounts on select entry tickets.
All FAQ’s are answered here.
WHO IS COMING TO PLAY?
Men’s draw: Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal, Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori.
Women’s draw: Serena Williams, Simona Halep, Petra Kvitova, Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka.
WHAT AUSSIES CAN I SUPPORT?
Men’s draw: Thanasi Kokkinakis, Nick Kyrgios, Alex Bolt, Alex de Minaur, James Duckworth, Omar Jasika, Blake Mott, Christopher O’Connell, Jordan Thompson, Bernard Tomic & Andrew Whittington.
Women’s draw: Daria Gavrilova, Ashleigh Barty, Destinee Aiava, Lizette Cabrera, Jaimee Fourlis & Arina Rodionova.
WHAT HAPPENED LAST YEAR?
It was a case of the old heads going the distance as both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal – two of tennis’ greatest ever – overpowered younger, hungry competitors to compete in the tournament final.
In the end, it was a five-set thriller between the two giants that lasted an incredible 3 hours and 38 minutes, with technology deciding the game as Federer hit a forehand winner down the line that resulted in a Nadal challenge. Upon hawk-eye review, the call was upheld and Federer won.
Over in the women’s draw and proving that the sisterhood is still going strong, the Williams’ sisters (Serena and Venus) faced off in the final with Serena prevailing in straight sets to win her 7th Australian Open and her 23rd career grand slam.
AUSTRALIAN OPEN STATS
1. For the first time in tournament history, attendance in the first week of the 2017 tournament passed 500,000 fans with 503,382. The previous record for the same time period was the 2016 tournament when 496,859 fans were in attendance.
2. Roger Federer is now the first male player to win at least five titles at three different grand slams (five Australian open titles, seven Wimbledon titles and five US open titles).
3. This grand slam tournament was the first since 2002 in which Roger Federer was ranked outside the top 10.
4. Federer is the oldest man to reach a grand slam final since Ken Rosewall made the US Open final aged 39 and the oldest grand slam champion since Ken Rosewall won the 1972 Australian Open at 37 years and 63 days old.
5. Serena Williams has won seven Australian Open titles; this one was the first Australian Open tournament in which she did not lose a single set.
6. Serena Williams has now won 23 grand slam titles to surpass Steffi Graf as the all-time leader in women’s grand slam titles in the Open era.
WHO WILL BE COMMENTATING?
Jelena Dokic: Former Australian tennis star.
Basil Zempilas: Australian television presenter.
Bruce McAvaney: Australian sports journalist.
Roger Rasheed: Former Australian tennis star, now Australian tennis coach
Todd Woodbridge: Former Australian tennis doubles star.
John Alexander: Former Australian tennis star.
Jim Courier: Former American tennis star.
Johanna Griggs: Channel Seven Presenter and host.
Kerryn Pratt: Channel Seven Presenter.
Matt White: Channel Seven journalist.
Hamish McLachlan: Channel Seven journalist.
Sandy Roberts: Channel Seven journalist.
Henri Leconte: Former French tennis star.
Nicole Bradtke: Former Australian tennis player.
John Fitzgerald: Channel Seven tennis commentator.
Allan Stone: Channel Seven tennis commentator.
Alicia Molik: Former Australian tennis player.
Sam Smith: Former Great Britain women’s tennis player.
Rennae Stubbs: Former Australian tennis player.
Neil Kearney: Channel Seven reporter.
Michael Felgate: Australian Open reporter.
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