As the first Grand Slam of the year, Australian Open occupies a special place in the tennis calendar.
Started by the Lawn Tennis Association of Australia (LTAA) – now called Tennis Australia – in 1905, the tournament was known as Australian Championship in her early years.
Although the first edition featured only a small field of 17 players, it has grown to be designated as one of the four major tournaments (Grand Slams) since 1924 by the International Tennis Federation. Three years later it was renamed to ul Australian Championship.
However, it wasn’t until 1969 (nearly a year after the start of the Open era) that the tennis tournament was officially named the Australian Open.
Over the years, the tournament has also been the setting for some of the most iconic moments in tennis history, with legendary names such as Rod Laver, Court Margaret, Steffi Graf, Andrew Agassi, Pete Sampras, Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and others leave their mark on the event.
Here we turn back the clock and look at the winners of the Australian Open men’s singles and women’s singles Open Era.
1969-1980 – History of the screenplay by Rod Laver and Margaret Court
In 1968, the world of tennis experienced a tectonic shift. For the first time, professional players could play in the majors alongside amateurs, marking the beginning of the Open Era, also known as the modern era of tennis.
However, with the changes formally taking effect in April this year, the Australian Open missed out on being the first Grand Slam Ery Open, with honors for the French Open.
But since the first Australian Open was held in 1969, history had to be made.
Australian Rod Laver won the men’s singles title this year, taking the first step towards completing a calendar Grand Slam (winning all four Grand Slam titles in one year) this year.
To date, Rod Laver is the only male singles player to reach a calendar Grand Slam in the open era. He also won all four majors in 1962, but that was in the pre-Open era.
Legendary in women’s singles Court Margaret – another Australian – won the title in 1969 and defended it in the next two editions. In 1970, Court also capitalized on her victory at the Australian Open to become the first ever winner of the coveted Grand Slam calendar in women’s singles.
Steffi Graf in 1988 became the only other tennis player in history to win a calendar Grand Slam tournament in the open era.
Another piece of history was written at the 1970 Australian Open singles tournament. USA Arthur Ashe – after whom the current US Open stadium is named – became the first black tennis player to win a Grand Slam tournament. This was the first of Ashe’s three Grand Slam tournaments.
Overall, this period was largely dominated by Australian and American men’s singles players. Argentina only Guillermo Vilas (1978 and 1979) broke this trend.
Interestingly, there were two Australian Opens in 1977 – one in January and the other in December – due to scheduling changes.
1981-1990 – Swedish dominance among men, Steffi Graf’s Golden Slam
During this period, the Australian Open underwent some major changes. Tournament dates ranged from December to January until 1985. But starting in 1987, January was set as the event window.
The rescheduling also meant that the Australian Open was not held in 1986 to ease the adjustment. Also from 1988, the tournament was moved to hard courts. Previously, the Australian Open was always played on grass courts.
Back to the champions, the 1980s and 1990s were dominated by Swedish men’s singles players.
South Africa Jan Krzyk won the 1981 and 1982 editions while the Czech Republic Iwan Lendl won in 1989 and 1990. All five editions between them were shared among the Swedes Mats Wilander (1983, 1984 and 1988) and Stefan Edberg (1985 and 1987).
In women’s singles, U.S. players achieved a clean score between 1981 and 1985 Martina Navratilova winning three (1981, 1983 and 1985) and Chris Evert two (1982 and 1984).
Han Mandlikov he broke the American grip in 1987 after a hiatus before leaving the stage for Germany’s Steffi Graf, who won a hat-trick of titles (1988, 1989 and 1990).
Graf’s first Australian Open in 1988 was followed by a very rare Gold Slam which consists of a Grand Slam calendar and a gold medal at the Summer Olympics in the same year.
Steffi Graf wins the Golden Slam in Seoul 1988
1991-2003 – The rivalry between Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi takes center stage
While the men’s titles at the Australian Open in 1991 and 1996 were won by German ace Boris Beckerthe highlight of this period was the rivalry between Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi.
The two American players, with their contrasting styles, dominated the world of tennis from the 1990s to the turn of the millennium, and the Australian Open was one of the main stages of the epic rivalry.
By 2000, the two went head-to-head at the event, winning the Australian Open twice – Sampras in 1994 and 1997, Agassi in 1995 and 2000.
However, as Sampras neared the end of his career, Agassi won two consecutive Australian Opens in 2001 and 2003 to take over his arch-rival’s tournament numbers.
There were also many eventful competitions in women’s singles during this era.
Monica Seles – then a youngster from Yugoslavia – challenged and challenged Graf’s dominance at the 1991 Australian Open. Seles won three Australian Opens at a trot, first breaking Steffi Graf’s streak and then creating her own.
At the 1993 Australian Open, Monica Seles defeated Graf in the final to win the women’s singles. Unfortunately, just a few months later, Seles was stabbed while playing in a tournament. When Seles suffered a critical injury, the Seles-Graf rivalry was temporarily halted while it was at its peak.
Graf regained the Australian Open crown in 1994, but Seles made a comeback and won the title again in 1996 – this time as a US player (Seles became US citizen in 1994).
It was Monika Seles’ last major title, but brought her Australian Open numbers on par with rival Steffi Graf for four wins.
The next three years, however, belonged to another great female competitor – the Swiss Martina Hingis. In 2003, a young American named Serena Williams won her first women’s singles title at the Australian Open.
2004-2022 – After the show, Federer-Djoko Still breaks through
Since 2004, the Australian Open men’s singles tournament has been completely dominated by two players – Swiss Roger Federer and Serbian Novak Djokovic.
Federer was better by three before Djokovic won his first Australian Open in 2008, but the Serbian has had the upper hand since then.
Currently, Novak Djokovic is the most decorated 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).
(Getty Images 2016)
Rafael Nadal won his second Australian Open in 2022, becoming the first man to win 21 Grand Slam titles, trailing Federer and Djoko who are tied for 20 Grand Slams.
Serena Williams, meanwhile, cemented her position as the most decorated competitor of all time at the event with seven titles.
Australian Open winners from 1969 to 2022 – complete list
|1969||Rod Laver (Australia)||Margaret Court (Australia)|
|1970||Arthur Ashe (US)||Margaret Court (Australia)|
|1971||Kane Rosewell (Australia)||Margaret Court (Australia)|
|1972||Kane Rosewell (Australia)||Virginia Wade (UK)|
|1973||John Newcombe (Australia)||Margaret Court (Australia)|
|1974||Jimmy Connors (US)||Evonne Cawley (Australia)|
|1975||John Newcombe (Australia)||Evonne Cawley (Australia)|
|1976||Mark Edmondson (Australia)||Evonne Cawley (Australia)|
|1977 (January)||Roscoe Tanner (US)||Kerry Reid (Australia)|
|1977 (December)||Vitas Gerulaitis (USA)||Evonne Cawley (Australia)|
|1978||Guillermo Vilas (Argentina)||Christine O’Neil (Australia)|
|1979||Guillermo Vilas (Argentina)||Barbara Jordan (US)|
|1980||Brian’s teacher (US)||Hana Mandlikova (Czechoslovakia)|
|1981||Johan Kriek (South Africa)||Martina Navratilova (USA)|
|1982||Johan Kriek (South Africa)||Chris Evert (US)|
|1983||Mats Wilander (Sweden)||Martina Navratilova (USA)|
|1984||Stefan Edberg (Sweden)||Chris Evert (US)|
|1985||Mats Wilander (Sweden)||Martina Navratilova (USA)|
|1987||Stefan Edberg (Sweden)||Hana Mandlikova (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||Courier Jim (US)||Monica Seles (Yugoslavia)|
|1993||Courier Jim (US)||Monica Seles (Yugoslavia)|
|1994||Pete Sampras (US)||Steffi Graf (Germany)|
|1995||Andre Agassi (US)||Mary Pierce (France)|
|1996||Boris Becker (Germany)||Monica Seles (US)|
|1997||Pete Sampras (US)||Martina Hingis (Switzerland)|
|1998||Petr Korda (Czech Republic)||Martina Hingis (Switzerland)|
|1999||Yevgeny Kafelnikov (Russia)||Martina Hingis (Switzerland)|
|2000||Andre Agassi (US)||Lindsay Davenport (US)|
|2001||Andre Agassi (US)||Jennifer Capriati (US)|
|2002||Thomas Johansson (Sweden)||Jennifer Capriati (US)|
|2003||Andre Agassi (US)||Serena Williams (US)|
|2004||Roger Federer (Switzerland)||Justine Henin (Belgium)|
|2005||Marat Safin (Russia)||Serena Williams (US)|
|2006||Roger Federer (Switzerland)||Amelie Mauresmo (France)|
|2007||Roger Federer (Switzerland)||Serena Williams (US)|
|2008||Novak Djokovic (Serbia)||Maria Sharapova (Russia)|
|2009||Rafael Nadal (Spain)||Serena Williams (US)|
|2010||Roger Federer (Switzerland)||Serena Williams (US)|
|2011||Novak Djokovic (Serbia)||Kim Clijsters (Belgium)|
|2012||Novak Djokovic (Serbia)||Victoria Azarenka (Belarus)|
|2013||Novak Djokovic (Serbia)||Victoria Azarenka (Belarus)|
|2014||State of Wawrinka (Switzerland)||Li Na (China)|
|2015||Novak Djokovic (Serbia)||Serena Williams (US)|
|2016||Novak Djokovic (Serbia)||Angelique Kerber (Germany)|
|2017||Roger Federer (Switzerland)||Serena Williams (US)|
|2018||Roger Federer (Switzerland)||Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark)|
|2019||Novak Djokovic (Serbia)||Naomi Osaka (Japan)|
|2020||Novak Djokovic (Serbia)||Sofia Kenin (US)|
|2021||Novak Djokovic (Serbia)||Naomi Osaka (Japan)|
|2022||Rafael Nadal (Spain)||Ashleigh Barty (Australia)|