The Happy Slam and Beyond

The professional tennis season gets into full swing in the last two weeks of January with the first Grand Slam event of the year, the Aussie Open. Also known as the Australian Open Tennis Tournament or just the Aussie, this tennis tournament has been attracting the best players in the world to Australia for over 100 years. 2013 will be no different as the best men, women and doubles teams compete for on the hard court of the Melbourne Park Tennis Complex.

The Event

This year, the excitement begins on January 14th and runs through the 23rd. As the first major of the year, attendance is always high with not only a broad cross-section of the Australian sports-loving population, but also attendees from around Southeast Asia, Europe and North America. While the Australian Open is recognized as one of the premiere sporting events in the world, drawing well over 500,000 spectators, it is also known for the camaraderie it engenders among people from around the world.

The event is a single-elimination tournament with a total prize purse of almost $30 million making it the richest tennis tournament on the planet. Somewhat unusually, the men’s and women’s champion each receive the same amount, almost $2.5 million. Once again, Australia leads the way in equal pay for equal work.

Photo Credits:http://www.flickr.com/photos/jerkstore/3172045314/

The Competitors

The men’s events will feature returning champion Novak Djokovic and the World’s #1 ranked player, Roger Federer as well as Olympic and Wimbledon champion, Andy Murray. Of course, Rafael Nadal will return to provide another tenacious and outstanding performance like the one from 2012.

On the women’s side, the World’s #1 women’s player, Victoria Azarenko, the ever dangerous, Maria Sharapova and the newly revitalized, 2012 Wimbledon champion, Serena Williams, will showcase their talents. Also, keep an eye on the rapidly maturing, 24-year-old, Agnieszka Radwanska.

The Venue

One of the star attractions of the event is the actual venue, itself; the Melbourne Park Tennis Complex. Comprised of three outdoor show courts, five indoor courts, and more than twenty outdoor courts, the complex also features two magnificent show courts, the Rod Laver Arena and the Hisense Arena, which have retractable roofs and allow for play in any weather conditions. The rest of the complex is outdoors and makes for a wonderful tennis experience for fans of all ages.

Whether you watch the Australian Open Tennis Tournament on TV or join the players and fans in Melbourne, the event promises a wealth of tennis action. The first Grand Slam event of the year is always full of drama and surprises. Don’t miss a single second of it.

Brendan Kenny is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. Follow him @Beekayyyyyy.

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