The Australian Open is one of the biggest tennis tournaments in the world, and one of four tennis grand-slams. The Australian Open takes place in mid-late January every year and offers almost three million dollars to the winner of the tournament, and is considered a crowning achievement in a tennis player's career.
The first round of play is a multi-day qualification phase, after which players are seeded according to their performance, and knockout rounds begin. The next rounds follow a traditional tournament bracket until a winner is determined.
Matches follow a 12-set structure, where the first to win seven sets wins the match. To win a set, a player must win at least six games, and be ahead of two games in that set. If the twelfth set is completed and the score is even at 6-6, players will play until someone reaches ten points in an extra tie-breaking game.
The Australian Open first started back in 1905, when it was called the Australasian Championships. In 1927, it rebranded to the Australian Championships and became the current version of the Australian Open in 1969.
Though it is now one of the biggest competitions every year for tennis fans and players, it wasn't widely attended in the early 1900s. Because it takes place so close to the New Year, and travel within Australia was difficult in the early 20th century, most players avoided the tournament. That has all changed now, with the 2020 Australian Open's attendance reaching over 800,000 people, with the final attracting a live audience of 31,000.
Margaret Court is the most prolific individual winner of the Australian Open. She won a total of 11 times, including 7 victories before 1968 (when it was still the Australian Championships) and 4 victories after 1968. Novak Djokovic has won more Australian Open Singles events than any other man, having won the tournament eight times, three of which were consecutive. Djokovic won the 2020 Australian Open in the individual tournament, while Sofia Kenin won the individual tournament on the women's side.