Once the end of January rolls around, the Australian Open will capture the world’s attention again. This is one of the more prominent events in pro tennis, and it’s where careers and history have been made. Though the event is well known across the globe, there are several little-known Australian Open facts that many fans of the sport are unaware of. On the other hand, there have also been key moments in the event’s history that virtually no one could forget because of their impact. Here are some of the most memorable events to ever take place at the Australian Open.
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal Duke It Out
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have been rivals for quite some time, and one of their most fierce competitions was in 2012 at the Australian Open. They engaged in what has since become known as the longest Grand Slam final in the history of tennis. They played against each other for a long five hours and 53 minutes — imagine playing on Royal Vegas casino for that long, and then consider how worn out these two must have been after battling on the court. The two players didn’t quit until a winner came through, and that final was truly one for the record books. Djokovic won, but he accepted his win with true class and grace.
Li Na Makes History
Li Na has had a remarkable career, even though she’s fairly young. In 2014 she earned the distinction of becoming the very first singles champion of Asian descent. Her win was incredible and left people talking long after, but that wasn’t Li Na’s only notable moment at the championship. After a particularly exciting win, she increased her fan base by giving a memorable speech that was full of her signature down to earth humor.
“Aussie Kim” Wins Big
Kim Clijsters is from Belgium, not Australia, but she earned the nickname Aussie Kim after dating a star player from the country many years ago. She never really thought the moniker made much sense, until she won the Australian Open in 2011. At that point she embraced the name, along with her fantastic win. She won against the talented Li Na in that year, making her a champion and the first woman who was a mother to win the Australian Open since 1977.
The Night Long Face Off
One thing that’s so great about watching the Australian Open is you never know what will end up happening. In 2008 fans settled in to watch a highly anticipated match between Lleyton Hewitt and Marcos Baghdatis, but no one knew they’d be watching the two go at it until 4:33 am. This particular match had the latest finish of any battle in a Grand Slam tournament, and it was plenty exciting the entire while. If you want excitement without hitting the court for hours, head to Royal Vegas casino.
Making the Serena Slam
Serena Williams has been dazzling tennis fans since she first started playing decades ago, and one of the most memorable matches she ever had was in 2002 at the Australian Open. After winning Wimbledon, the French Open, and the US Open, she headed to Melbourne Park. She was behind Kim Clijsters before coming back for the win, and Serena then went on to face her ultimate opponent in a three set final: her sister Venus. Serena beat the older Williams sister, and due to her streak of wins fans started calling this match the completion of the Serena Slam.