Australian Open Betting Offers 2018

australianFrom humble beginnings the Australian Tennis Open has risen to become the second biggest tennis event in terms of spectators and represents the start of the Grand Slam season. In the early days of the tournament players couldn’t be bothered to travel to the Southern hemisphere but now with over £27 million in prize money on offer with around £2.4 million for the winner this is one of the most sought after crowns in the sport tennis.

The event is played at Melbourne Park where it has remained since 1988 when the tournament switched from grass to hard court. Novak Djokovic is the man of the moment, winning 6 of the last 10 titles, four of which have been to the expense of Andy Murray who has finished runner up five times in seven years.

Will this be Andy Murray’s year at last, will Djokovic rule the day once more or will we see another champion in 2018 as we did when Federer won unexpectedly in 2017? As usual find all the best betting offers, event information, schedule, history, format and more on this page.

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Australian Open Schedule 2018

Grounds open at 9:30am Australian time and play begins for the initial rounds at 11am (midnight GMT) for the morning session and 7pm (8am GMT) for the evening session. Semi-finals and finals begin at 7:30pm (8:30am GMT).

Date Day Round / Match
15th January Monday First Round
16th January Tuesday First Round
17th January Wednesday Second Round
18th January Thursday Second Round
19th January Friday Third Round
20th January Saturday Third Round
21st January Sunday Fourth Round
22nd January Monday Fourth Round
23rd January Tuesday Quarter Finals
24th January Wednesday Quarter Finals
25th January Thursday Women’s Semi Finals
26th January Friday Men’s Semi Finals
27th January Saturday Ladies Final
28th January Sunday Men’s Final

Australian Open Format

The 2018 Australian Open will be the 106th tournament since it was first played 113 years ago in 1905. As with the other grand slam events 128 players compete in the men’s and women’s singles draw in a knockout format with the doubles competitions consisting of 64 teams. Most of these places are made up from the top 100 ranked players with 16 singles places going to qualifiers and up to ten others to wildcards, invited by Tennis Australia.

Qualifying takes place the week prior to the Open proper form Wednesday 10th to Sunday 14th January with 96 players who have qualified based on ranking, nationality or by winning feeder events whittled down o 16 of each sex to join the main draw.

The top 32 ranked players are seeded into the draw. The draw is designed to ensure that seeded players are kept apart for as long as possible, for example, players with rankings 1 and 2 are kept on separate sides of the draw so that they could only possibly meet in the final. The tournament is designed this way to maintain the top names throughout the competition.

Prize funds for the Australian Open are expected to be in excess of $50M Australian dollars, this equates to around £30M. The winners of the Australian Open men’s and women’s singles can expect to receive in the region of $4,000,000 AUD (~£2,400,000) with $2M (~£1.2M) for the runners up. A first round player can pick up about $50,000 (~£30,000). Doubles winners receive $650,000 (£390,000) for each pair and mixed doubles winners $165,000 (£100,000).

Statistics & Previous Winners

Australian Open records shown here are from the Open era 1969 onward:

Statistic Player Country Number Year(s)
Men’s Titles Novak Djokovic Serbia 6 2008, 2011-13, 2015-16
Men’s Consecutive Titles Novak Djokovic Serbia 3 2011-13
Women’s Titles Serena Williams USA 7 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2015, 2017
Women’s Consecutive Titles Multiple Including Graf, Seles & Hingis 3 1997-99 (Hingis, last player)
Men’s Doubles Titles Bob & Mike Bryan USA 6 2006-07, 2009-11, 2013
Men’s Doubles Consecutive Titles Bob & Mike Bryan USA 3 2009-11
Women’s Doubles Titles Martina Navratilova USA (Czech) 8 1980, 1982-85, 1987-89
Women’s Doubles Consecutive Titles Martina Navratilova / Pam Shriver USA (Czech) / USA 7 1982-89 (Not held in 1986)
Mixed Doubles Titles Pugh / Paes / Nestor USA / India / Canada 3
Men’s Youngest Winner Mats Wilander Sweden 19yrs 3m 1983
Women’s Youngest Winner Martina Hingis Switzerland 16yrs 4m 1997
Men’s Oldest Winner Ken Rosewall Australia 37y 2m 1972
Women’s Oldest Winner Serena Williams USA 33yrs 4m
Last Men’s Winner Roger Federer Switzerland 2017
Last Women’s Winner Serena Williams USA 2017
Last Men’s Doubles Winner Henri Kontinen & John Peers Finland / Australia 2017
Last Women’s Doubles Winner Bethanie Mattek-Sands & Lucie Šafářová USA / Czech 2017
Last Mixed Doubles Winner Abigail Spears & Juan Sebastián Cabal USA / Colombia 2017

History of the Australian Open

Pre-Open Era 1905 to 1968

Organised tennis was established around the year 1877 in Australia but it wasn’t until 1904 that a governing body was formed to oversee the sport. The Lawn Tennis Association of Australia (LTAA) was established in 1904 to allow the country to prepare for an upcoming Davis Cup tie. The body based at Melbourne Park is now known as Tennis Australia and is the governing body of the sport in the country and overseas and manages the Open.

The following year in 1905 the LTAA organised the first Australasian Championships staged at the Warehouseman’s Cricket Ground in Melbourne, it was men only at this time and was won by Australia’s own, Rodney Heath. In 1923, a year after women we’re allowed to enter, the tournament was designated as a major championship by the International Lawn Tennis Federation and four years later in 1927 the name changed to the Australian Championships.

Prior to the Open era the home of the Open moved around between five Australian cities and two in New Zealand:

Country City Number of Times Hosted
Australia Melbourne 63
Australia Sydney 17
Australia Adelaide 14
Australia Brisbane 7
Australia Perth 3
New Zealand Christchurch Once (1906)
New Zealand Hastings Once (1912)

Open Era 1969 to 2018

The Australian Championships became the Open in 1969 and was first played at Milton Courts in Brisbane, however from 1972 onwards the location was fixed to Melbourne as this commanded the greatest crowds.

Despite the event becoming a grand slam in 1969 many players were still reluctant to travel so far for the competition. The event was almost exclusively won by Australian and New Zealand players, with the odd Brit and American thrown in, between 1905 and 1982. In 1983 Sweden’s Mats Wilander won the Open that saw Ivan Lendl and John McEnroe competing.

The Open exploded in popularity over the next few years. From 1972 to 1988 the Open was played at Melbourne’s Kooyong Club before moving to the larger Melbourne Park (previously Finders Park) in 1988 in response to demands for higher capacities and better facilities. The attendance nearly doubled in 1988 to around 270,000 people in 1988.

The event was also moved from mid-December in 1985 to mid-January in 1987. Moving the date to after Christmas was designed to attract more players and shorten the grand slam season. Recently top players have even requested the tournament be moved even later to February to allow more preparation time. The Australian Open now commands the second biggest attendance to the US Open at around three quarters of a million people.

The attendance for the 2017 open was officially a record for the event at 728,763.

Grass to Hard Courts

These days the Australian Tennis Open is synonymous with those blue plexicushion acrylic based hard courts that seem to absorb Andy Murray’s tears of pain so well. This wasn’t always the case and in fact for most of its history the Australian Open has been played on grass. Only in 1988 following the move to Melbourne Park was the surface switched to a hard base.

Initially the courts were surfaced with Rebound Ace, another type of hard court made with fiberglass and a polyurethane rubber. In 2008 the surface was replaced with Plexicushion. It was said at the time that this was due to problems with sticking in very high heat but it is probably more to do with the fact that Rebound Ace was very similar to the US Open’s Deco Turf and it has been suggested the Australian’s changed the surface to create its own brand of play.

The Plexicushion surface is slightly slower than the older Rebound Ace and can be controlled more through a range of temperatures due to a thinner top layer.

Show Courts

The Australian Open was the first grand slam event to introduce all weather show courts due to extreme heat and unpredictable weather patterns that vary a lot between La Nina and El Nino years. The three show courts are fitted with floodlights, air conditioning and retractable roofs that allow play in all weathers and during evening sessions.

  • Rod Laver Arena – This is the top court at the Australian Open. When it was opened in 1988 it was known as the National Tennis Centre at Flinders Park, this was changed to Centre Court in 1996 and finally to the Rod Laver in 2000. Rod Laver was a Australian born three times open winner. The stadium holds nearly 15,000 spectators.
  • Hisense Arena – Named the Hisense Arena through sponsorship the venue is also known as the Melbourne Park Multi-Purpose Venue as it hosts a range of sports including netball, basketball, ice hockey, cycling and even X Factor auditions. The venue holds 11,000 people and opened in 2000.
  • Margaret Court Arena – This is another multi-purpose venue hosting tennis, hockey and basketball. The arena opened in 1987 and used to be second to the National Tennis Centre until the Hisense Arena opened and was known as Show Court One until 2003. The court was renamed in honour of Australian Grand Slam record holder Margaret Court. The arena now holds 7,500 and has a retractable roof following refurbishment in 2014