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Australian Open: a guide to Melbourne Park

The countdown to the 2020 Australian Open is well and truly on, so we're taking you on a deep dive into the place where it all happens.

With the warm weather slowly creeping in it means summer is drawing nearer, so there’s only one thing on our mind – the Australian Open. 

Want to see the best players in the world on the biggest stage? Well, we’re saving you a reserved seat in one of Melbourne Park’s world-class arenas. Here’s a guide covering everything you need to know before you take your seat.

The choice is yours – Rod Laver or Margaret Court Arena?

Did you know that the Australian Open is the only Grand Slam in the world that utilises three roofed venues? That means that no matter the weather, the show will always go on.

Melbourne Park’s show court 1 was officially re-named ‘Margaret Court Arena’ as a tribute to Australia’s most successful female tennis player on the eve of the 2003 Australian Open. With a capacity of 7500, MCA brings all the tennis action up close and personal. Lock in a session across the first eight days and six nights of the tournament. Fun fact: the arena design is inspired by the pleats of a traditional tennis skirt.

Rod Laver Arena is the heart of Melbourne Park, which also makes it the heart of the Australian Open. Not only does it host some of the world’s best players right across the Australian Open’s two weeks, it is also the home of both the Women’s and Men’s Australian Open Finals. On 16 January 2000, Melbourne Park’s Centre Court officially became known as Rod Laver Arena – honouring the three-time Aus Open champion and one of the world’s greatest ever tennis players. Hosting almost 15,000 tennis fans every day of the Aus Open, it was the first arena in Australia to have a retractable roof installed.

With your Stadium Tickets, not only do you get a reserved seat in either Rod Laver or Margaret Court Arena, but you also get the flexibility of enjoying everything else the Australian Open has to offer. At any point in the day you can take a break from all the scorching tennis action in your chosen stadium and instead make your way around the rest of Melbourne Park.

You’ll have access to all the outdoor courts as well as Melbourne Arena. You can also soak up all the live music happening at the AO Live Stage, explore the AO Ballpark, check out the new Practice Village, and satisfy your tastebuds with all the worldclass food and drink offerings the Aus Open are serving up in 2020.

Witness history-making moments up close

There have been some incredible matches held on both these courts – from record-breaking slogs to fierce rivalries, huge upsets to surprising victories – both Rod Laver and Margaret Court Arenas aren’t short on history-making tennis. We’ve dug through the history books to pick some of our favourite ever matches.

The Australian Open has witnessed some monster matches over the years, but when American Andy Roddick took on Moroccan Younes El Aynaoui in the 2003 quarterfinals it really was one for the ages. Across almost five hours (four hours 59 minutes to be precise), Roddick became the youngest man since 1992 to reach the semi-finals of the Australian Open. The ninth-seeded American prevailed in a remarkable 40-game, fifth set that lasted two and a half hours.

If you thought that was an incredible feat, fast forward to the 2012 Australian Open Final between Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal. Stretching to five hours and 53 minutes, the match has gone down as one of the best in this long-fought rivalry. While the match has only one tie-break, it is the style of both these players that saw the match stretch well past midnight. In the end, it was Djokovic who came out on top to score his third Australian Open title.

The 2002 Australian Open final between Jennifer Capriati and Martina Hingis was one for the ages. In the boiling head, both players were given a ten-minute break during the match to apply ice packs and tensions threatened to boil over. Eventually, Capriarti saved four match points cementing her comeback and clinching victory.

Who can predict what history-making tennis glory awaits us at the 2020 Australian Open? Only time will tell. But a seat in one of the Arenas guarantees you the best chance of being up close when all the action goes down.

Australian Open key dates

With two weeks of tennis action ready to unfold, taking place from Monday 20 January until Sunday 2 February, you better strap yourself in.

It will all come to a head on Saturday 1 February when the 2020 Australian Open Women’s champion is crowned, while the Men’s Final will take place the following day, on Sunday 2 February.

The Women’s Semifinals will be held during the day on Thursday 30 January and the first Men’s Semifinal will take place that night, followed by the second semi on Friday 31 January.

The Quarterfinals will be held on Tuesday 28 and Wednesday 29 January.

Australian Open 2020 will take over Melbourne Park from Monday 20 January until Sunday 2 February. Tickets are on sale now via Ticketmaster.com.au.

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