Although popular throughout the country, the home of tennis in Australia is, arguably, Melbourne. Watching and attending tennis matches has been a favourite summer pastime for over 100 years.
Tennis is a fun sport that anyone can participate in, and there are hundreds of tennis courts throughout Victoria where people can play.
Melbourne's premier tennis venue is Melbourne Park. It features two main arenas - Rod Laver Arena, with a seating capacity of 15,000, and Melbourne Arena, which can seat over 10,000. Both have retractable roofs, ensuring that matches are not interrupted by inclement weather. There are also three show courts, the main one being Margaret Court Arena, and more than twenty outdoor courts.
Major tennis tournaments
January. International tennis stars produce grand slam action as they battle for the coveted Australian Open title - one of only four Grand Slam tournaments played in the world each year. Played at Melbourne Park over 14 days, there is a colourful and vibrant atmosphere with live music and entertainment. There are also exhibition matches, a big screen set up outside for people to watch matches live on the lawns, childrens activities and the banks of the Yarra River at Birrarung Marr will be lined with food stalls and bars.
December. Australia's best tennis players head to Melbourne Park for a 16 day tournament of over 1,500 matches during December, to decide who is the best across each age group. Great news for tennis fans - this is a free event.
January. The Kooyong Classic is an important men's lead-up tournament to the Australian Open and is played at the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club. Fans enjoy the excitement of watching the world's top players in an intimate and friendly setting. Kooyong was the original home of the Australian Open before the larger Melbourne Park complex was built to accommodate the growing competition.