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Check out our guide to the Aussie Open
Around the Academy:

Melbourne Park, with its sliding roof
Melbourne: Only top venue with a sliding roof

The Australian Open is the first Grand Slam event of the year - and is used as a benchmark for the rest of the season.

The tournament is played on a specially-designed hard court surface called Rebound Ace.

Hard court surfaces are made of asphalt or concrete and covered with coloured acrylic paint mixed with sand to give it texture.

Unlike on grass and clay, the bounce and the speed of the ball is consistent - which makes it ideal for beginners to play on.

Hard court surfaces are considered a great leveller.

Many of the top seeds have been knocked out during recent years at the Australian Open.

They complained that the surface was too sticky, leading to injuries.

Others put the injuries down to the timing of the event with players not having had enough time to recover since the end of the previous season.


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Introduction
Australian Open
French Open
Wimbledon
US Open

Open Quote
Your shoes actually stick into the court that little bit longer and you feel that in your joints, your lower back and legs
Close Quote
Mark Philippoussis
Australian tennis star


Australian Open
Reigning men's champion: Marat Safin (Rus)
Reigning women's champion: Serena Williams (USA)
Did you know? In 1993 Melbourne Park became the only Grand Slam venue to have a sliding roof



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