The New Year is upon us, and with that comes another Australia Open on the horizon. Last time out we saw Novak Djokovic pick up his sixth Australia Open title, German Angelique Kerber started out as the 7th seed at the tournament and ended up winning the open by defeating world no.1 Serena Williams and earning her first grand slam. Jamie Murray also was the victor in Australia last year. The Brit won the men’s doubles with his Brazilian partner Bruno Soares, giving him the world no.2 spot for doubles, right at the same time as Andy being no.2 in the world for men’s singles.
All these great records set and memories made just from last year, but now it’s time to take a trip down memory lane and take a look at some of the most memorable moments in Australia Open history.
Here’re the top 10 most memorable moments from the Australia Open
#10 2003 Fourth Round: Henin vs Davenport
A game memorable for all the wrong reasons, when Justine Henin overcame leg cramp to play her fourth round match vs Lindsay Davenport. Davenport came out on top in their last five meetings but in the matches 39th game, Henin collapsed on the court with a severe leg cramp. She immediately thought that there was no way that she could carry on, but, after receiving the treatment she pushed on the injury and was victorious in breaking Davenport for the win.
#9 1992 Final: Courier vs Edberg
For this moment in history, nothing special went down on the court, but it was what happened after that match that puts this one down in the history books. Jim Courier defeated Stefan Edberg and after the trophy presentation, Courier followed his coach to the Yarra River outside the stadium where they both jumped in. Before the match, the Victorian Health Department stated that the pollution levels were 18 times higher than the acceptable limit. Courier still went ahead to jump in the river and continued the tradition a year later when he defended his Australian Open title.
#8 1995 Floods on Stadium Court
As fans were awaiting the mixed doubles final between Rick Leach and Natasha Zverava vs Cyril Suk and Gigi Fernandez, they were forced to wait some time as officials tried to get the court in playing condition. The court had a power outage meaning the Flinders Park drainage system failed and allowed torrential rainfall to flood the court. Zverava and Fernandez joined some fans as they danced on the court to bide the time.
#7 1995 Quaterfinal: Sampras vs Courier
After going two sets down, Sampras was on the verge of defeat. He rallied back and started to play with such power and dominance that he took the game to a decisive fifth set. At the beginning of this set, a fan started shouting at Sampras in an attempt to motivate him, telling him to do it for his coach, Tim Gullikson. Gullikson had to miss the ending of the Australia Open after flying back to the United States after suffering a stroke linked with his brain tumour that he just had diagnosed. Sampras broke down crying on the court with his opponent offering to continue the match tomorrow. This only motivated Sampras to finish the game then and now, and he did. Not only did he finish it, he won the game earning himself a spot in the semi-finals.
#6 2006 Semifinal: Baghdatis vs Nalbandian
A tough game was on the cards when unseeded Marcos Baghdatis played World No.4 David Nalbandian in the semi-final back in 2006. The match was certainly a thriller, but, when the underdog Baghdatis was just three points from a victory, but the weather took a turn for the worst and play was stopped due to torrential rain. After the roof was closed, play continued and the momentum could have gone either way, but Baghdatis pulled through and earned his way into the Australian Open final. Before that tournament, Baghdatis’ best-placed finish was the fourth round.
#5 2003 Semifinal: Williams vs Clijsters
The beginning of what is a monumental era in tennis era. Serena Williams entering her first Australia Open final. Williams had a tough crowd to please, though, her opponent, Belgium’s Kim Clijsters was so close to the final, she had the backing of the crowd but after she was serving for a win with the game at 5-4, but Clijsters choked at the occasion with two double faults. Williams ignored the blisters on her feet and went on to win her sixth straight game for the win.
#4 2009 Semifinal: Nadal vs Verdasco
It was a match in which both players deserved a spot in the final. Three of the five sets were decided to with tie breaks, Rafael Nadal and Fernando Verdasco battled for a record five hours and 14 minutes. The match ended in heartbreak for Verdasco, as the final point was decided with a double fault. Nadal went on to play Roger Federer in the final.
#3 2003 Quarterfinal: Roddick vs El Anyaoui
A match where neither player was willing to give up. The quarterfinal went on for two hours and 23 minutes, almost as long as the first four sets combined. A 20-year-old Andy Roddick went on to defeat veteran Younes El Aynaoui. The 40 games that were played in the final set marked a Grand Slam record as the most ever games to be played in one set since the tie-break rule was introduced.
#2 2003 Final: Venus vs Serena
The 2003 final between the Williams sisters Venus and Serena saw them meet for the fourth consecutive final after previously meeting at the French Open 2002, Wimbledon 2002 and US Open 2002. After a hard hitting match between the siblings, the younger and more hard hitting sister, Serena Williams prevailed Venus and took the win to grab her first Australian Open title.
#1 2009 Final: Nadal vs Federer
Nothing was stopping Rafael Nadal in his prime, not even Roger Federer, the 2009 final saw Nadal take the win against his fierce on court rival. Federer broke down on court whilst accepting his his runner up trophy. Nadal went up to Federer and comforted him with a hug after the tie had ended.