The Grand Slam season opens
The 107th edition of the first Grand Slam of the year begins on January 14. It is the first out of the Big Four: French Open, Wimbledon and US Open. Australian open is the youngest of the majors.
A Touch of History
Australian Open was first played in November 1905 in Melbourne. Formerly referred to as the Australasian Championships, it was later renamed to Australian Championships in 1927 to finally emerge as the Australian Open in 1969. The first championship matches were held in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth in Australia and Christchurch and Hastings in New Zealand. In order to attract the largest number of viewers and players, it was decided in 1972 that the tournament should be moved to one, high-profile city. The decision to stage the competition in the Melbourne Park complex in 1988 resulted in a 90 percent increase in attendance.
Far and Away
Due to its distant location and considerable distances to be covered even inside Australia itself, not too many players attended the tournament in the early 20th century (back in the 1920s, it took approximately 45 days to come from Europe to Australia by boat!). Australian Open started to gain popularity as late as in 1983 mostly because such tennis stars as Ivan Lendl, John McEnroe, and Mats Wilander decided to participate in the event.
Another reason for the lack of popularity was fluctuating dates of the championships. Traveling thousands of miles during the Christmas and New Year time was not something that everyone was particularly keen on. Two tournaments were held in the year 1977 when changing from being a December event to a January event. The first event in the year was in January, the second in December. Since 1987, the Australian Open date has not changed and is played in mid-January, which allowed top players to plan their time and reserve the spot for the largest Aussie sports event.
The Structure and Prizes
Currently, the Australian Open includes men's and women's singles, men's, women's and mixed doubles and junior's championships as well as wheelchair, legends and exhibition events. The tournament was initially played on grass, and since 1988, it has been played on hardcourt surfaces just like the US Open. The total prize money for the tournament totals 40 million Australian dollars with approximately $3,000,000 awarded to the winner in singles.
The Top Players
Nowadays, the Australian Open Championships are attended by the best tennis players in the world. This year's tournament features a field packed with prominent names, including the return of Serena Williams, who skipped the 2018 Australian Open after winning it a year earlier. Defending champ Roger Federer headlines the men's draw as he'll try to win his seventh Australian Open title and 21st Grand Slam title. The men's field also features top seed Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Marin Cilic, and John Isner. The draws for this year’s competitions can be found here. If you are interested in the names of the players who won all Australian Open titles since its very beginning, take a look here.
The biggest Aussie sports event is broadcast worldwide by a number of networks. The official Australian Open site shows live scores as well as the multitude of various additional attractions such as interviews, comments, news, reports, etc. Until last year, an official broadcaster was the Seven Network. From 2019, the host broadcaster of the tournament is the Nine Network which will cover the matches for Australia and New Zealand. In Europe, the exclusive broadcaster is Eurosport. The Middle East and Northern Africa are served by beIN Sports, and SuperSport will cover it for Sub-Sahara Africa.
The United States is served by ESPN (ESPN2, ESPN3) and the Tennis Channel. Canadian tennis fans can watch the tournament on TSN.
Schedules of the championship matches can be found here. A lot of exciting videos can also be seen on the Australian Open TV YouTube channel.
Where to watch
The Australian Open tournament can be followed live on a number of channels including the following:
How to watch
The problem with the networks which offer coverage for specific areas of the world is that they are usually restricted to those areas. If you are lucky enough to live in Australia or the US, you can simply watch it on your local channel. Otherwise, you need to make sure that the channel which broadcasts the matches knows that you actually are located in the area which enables you to watch them. And this is when we step in.
If you want to watch the tournament on Australian network, all you need to do is log into your SDP account, go to Regions, change Channel Group B into Australia and start streaming. As simple as that!
Alternatively, you can use our VPN technology by connecting to an appropriate VPN server which is located in the area where you want to stream the coverage from, sign in or sign up for the service that you want to use (a lot of them have free trial periods that can take you through the entire tournament) and enjoy the matches.
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