16-29 Jan 2017
Outdoor hard (Plexicushion Prestige)
Rod Laver Arena - 14,820 capacity
Hisense Arena - 11,000 capacity
Roger Federer (SUI)
Henri Kontinen (FIN) / John Peers (AUS)
Serena Williams (USA)
Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) / Lucie Safarova (CZE)
Abigail Spears (USA) / Juan Sebastian Cabal (COL)
Zsombor Piros (HUN)
Hsu Yu Hsiou (TPE) / Zhao Lingxi (CHN)
Marta Kostyuk (UKR)
Bianco Andreescu (CAN) / Carson Branstine (USA)
The first tournament, a men's only event named the Australasian Championships, was staged in 1905 and Rodney Heath won the singles title. At this stage it wasn't designated as one of the majors and only reached this staus in 1924. The competition became known as the Australian Championships in 1927 and then finally the Australian Open in 1969.
The original venue was the Warehouseman’s Cricket Ground in Melbourne. The tournament went on to be held in numerous cities around Australia and New Zealand before it permanently settled in Melbourne in 1972, first at Kooyong LTC and then at the purpose built Flinders Park, now known as Melbourne Park, where it remains today.
Melbourne Park began staging the Australian Open in 1988. It was constructed to meet the demands of a tournament that had outgrown Kooyong's limited capacity, and the move was an immediate success with a 90 per cent increase in attendance the first year. The two main courts are Rod Laver Arena and Hisense Arena, both have a retractable roof.
The tournament was held on grass until 1987, but the move to Melburne Park signalled an end to this tradition and the Australian Open has been played on hard courts ever since. Rebound Ace was used for the first 20 years, then in 2008 it was replaced with Plexicushion Prestige, which provides better consistency and less heat retention.
All-time greats - men
Roy Emerson and Novak Djokovic have been crowned singles champion the most, with six titles each. All six of Emerson's victories came in the 1960s (before the Open Era), while Djokovic has won six titles between 2008 and 2016. Roger Federer has five titles and Andre Agassi has four wins.
All-time greats - women
Margaret Court is by far and away the most prolific singles champion with 11 victories, split seven and four between the Amateur and Open Eras. Serena Williams is the most successful Open Era player, triumphing seven times, while Evonne Goolagong, Steffi Graf and Monica Seles have all recorded four wins.