We already brought you part one of our list of 14 things you didn’t know about the Australian Open, and now we’re back with part two! Check out seven more fascinating facts about the famous tennis tournament that you definitely (probably) did not know. You might be surprised by what you learn!
Number Seven: It Has Gone Through Some Court Makeovers. Before 1988, the entire tournament was played on grass courts. However, from 1988 moving forward, the tournament has used two different types of hard court. Rebound ace was used from 1988 to 2007, and plexicushion has been used since 2008.
Number Six: The Weather Is Always Really, Really Hot. One of the toughest challenges of competing in the Australian Open is preparing for the weather. Temperatures can reach highs of 40 degrees Celsius, or 104 degrees Fahrenheit. On top of that, the depleting ozone layer in Australia makes players especially vulnerable to sunburn.
Number Five: It Had Record Attendance in 2015. The Australian Open has been getting popular every year, and in 2015, it saw record attendance. A whopping 703,899 people attended the tournament in 2015.
Number Four: It Employs Nearly 400 Ball Kids. For the 2015 tournament, 380 ball kids were employed to help players. The process to become a ball kid as part of a Grand Slam tournament is incredibly extensive and difficult to complete.
Number Three: More Than 35 Miles of String Were Used to Restring Rackets. In the 2015 Australian Open alone, more than 35 miles, or 57 kilometers, of string was used to restring more than 4,700 rackets! That’s a lot of string.
Number Two: More Than 1,700 Pounds of Food Were Sampled. Again, just at the 2015 Australian Open alone, more than 1,700 pounds, or 800 kilograms, of food was sampled. Someone’s gotta eat!
Number One: The 2015 Champions Held the Most Titles in the Australian Open’s Open Era. The tournament entered the “open era” in 1968, when the Grand Slam tournaments allowed professionals and amateurs to compete together. The two champions of the Australian Open in 2015, Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams, have won more Australian Open titles in the open era than any other player. Djokovic has won five titles, and Williams has won six. We hope you enjoyed our list of 14 things you didn’t know about the Australian Open!