Why is the Australian Open considered the least prestigous out of the 4 slams?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by PhatChineseDude, Oct 29, 2009.

  1. PhatChineseDude

    PhatChineseDude New User

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    Most people seem to pick the Australian open as the least prestigous slam, yet many discussions seem to suggest that in terms of atmoshphere,etc, it is the best one. I'd have to agree with that. It was the first tornament(to my knowledge) that bring in the closing roofs, first one to use hawkeye, first one to have nighttime finals; like the us open has nightime matches. I know that up until the late 80's a lot of the top players skipped it, but now, everyone plays it.

    Also, the fact that it has the most different champions, and clearly seems to be the hardest one to defend gives good argument that it is the fairest of the slams, to both attacking and defensive players.

    Plus, its the one i've always followed the most, being from Melbourne.. and definitly my favourite one :)

    Thoughts/opinions?
     
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  2. Max G.

    Max G. Hall of Fame

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    Holdout from the times when lots of players would skip it because it was far away and at a bad time of year.
     
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  3. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    Uh, USO was the first major to use hawkeye('06) And the first major to have a night time final(women's final starting in '01)

    AO had its first night time final in '05.

    also, the AO only started being a 128 player draw event in 1988.
     
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  4. PhatChineseDude

    PhatChineseDude New User

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  5. doom

    doom Banned

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    All those changes you mentioned are part of the reason its the least prestigious. It's only been played at the current site for 20 years, it was on grass before that at a different venue. It used to swap cities. It used to be held just after Christmas. There was one year when it was played twice and the next year it wasn't played at all.

    When it was played just after Christmas none of the top players would show up unless they had to play Australia in the Davis Cup final in Australia in the week before and then they would stay on to play. The Australian Open has only been on par with the other slams for about 15 years now.

    Even Agassi never bothered showing up until 1995 because he just didn't want to travel that far.

    Compare that to Wimbledon and the French, which have always been played on the same surface, at the same time of year and at the same venue.
     
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  6. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    It's the same reason that Cornell is less prestigious than Harvard even though both are in the Ivy League. ;-)

    The Australian Open is the youngest of the four Grand Slams and started in the 20th century in 1905. It's also so far away that many of the top pros from Europe and America skipped it for many years, which made it less prestigious to win since the top players weren't in the competition. The fact that it was held around Christmas time for many years also didn't help matters as many of the pros wanted to stay home with their families that time of the year.
     
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  7. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    Who says it is? It used to be but I really don't think that's true anymore.
     
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  8. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Because even Australians, like Rafter and Hewitt, would rather win Wimbledon than the Australian Open.

    Ask Federer if he would rather give up one of his Wimbledon titles or one of his Australian Open titles.

    The Australian Open has never even been covered by one of the Big 3 TV networks in the U.S.
     
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  9. MuseFan

    MuseFan Banned

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    Ask Federer if the Australian Open is important. He cried so hard after losing the final this year, 'nuff said.
     
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  10. dropshot winner

    dropshot winner Hall of Fame

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    It's the fluke slam, just look at some of the finalists (Schuttler, Clement) and winners (Korda, Johannson).
     
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  11. thetheorist

    thetheorist New User

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    Doesn't have a distinct character. FO and Wimbledon are popular partly because of their surfaces (clay slam, grass slam), and USO has been owning the 'hardcourt slam' distinction. In this view, AO looks like an extra slam.
     
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  12. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    That had nothing to do with the tournament. He would have done the same at any tournament in which the crowd publicly displayed their unconditional love and devotion to him during his hour of failure. He thoroughly disappointed his fans, yet they shouted that they still loved him despite his failure to win it for them. That made him emotional.

    The same thing happened in Basel a few years ago when he lost the final and disappointed his hometown fans. The fans still cheered for him and loved him despite his failure so he got emotional and cried. Does that mean that Federer thinks the Basel tournament is more prestigious and important than Wimbledon?
     
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  13. Cesc Fabregas

    Cesc Fabregas Legend

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    Hewitt said the highlight of his career was getting to Australian Open final in 2005, not winning the US Open or Wimbledon. Clearly Hewitt's favourite tournament is the Australian.
     
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  14. dropshot winner

    dropshot winner Hall of Fame

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    Hewitt played some unbelievable matches that tournament (5 setter against Nadal and Nalbandian), it was a rollercoaster, unlike USO01 and Wim02.
     
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  15. PhatChineseDude

    PhatChineseDude New User

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    Hewitt Also said after beating Federer in 2003 in the Davis cup semi's in Australia that it was better then winning a grand slam.

    I'd also take Safin's '05 Trophy over Hewitt's '02 Wimbledon one any day of the week
     
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  16. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    Brian Teacher won a Slam. Guess which one? ;)
     
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  17. Darth_Timmaayyy!!

    Darth_Timmaayyy!! Banned

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    Rubbish, Rubbish, Rubbish.

    You are an idiot talking crap yet again...
     
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  18. BHud

    BHud Professional

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    I would say lack of history, tradition, consistency, worldwide media coverage, etc...but now I believe it's right on par with the other 3. I love watching the new season kick off in January with the "fun" slam! In fact, I would rather travel to that slam than either Wimbledon or the French...
     
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  19. lawrence

    lawrence Hall of Fame

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    Wimbledon > AO > FO > USO.

    Who cares about lack of media coverage or what surfaces they've used in the past. Now is now, and right now; the crowds are the most involved, the atmosphere is the best, the courts look great and also seem to be balanced in terms of not being too fast or too slow and don't particularly favour any specific player.
    Not to mention the main stadium is named after one of the sports best.
     
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  20. Anaconda

    Anaconda Hall of Fame

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    The australian open is the least prestigous GS because you don't have to be good to win it. Just ask Johansson
     
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  21. dropshot winner

    dropshot winner Hall of Fame

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    That's a bit harsh... but I agree that all the fluke winners and finalists decreased the "value" of the Australian Open somewhat.
     
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  22. Probably because in the 70`s and 80`s lots of top-players didnt even go there, and it was a bad time of the year, bad schedueling.
    Nowadays the status of it is a lot higher, but imo it is still the least prestigeous GS.
     
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  23. Thats not really fair, he still won 7 5-set matches, and for a Swede winning in that weather -that impressive! AND he beat prime Safin in the final.
     
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  24. Gorecki

    Gorecki G.O.A.T.

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    since when American Networks opinions are worldwide vinculative?

    USO is not covered by the biggest sports channel in my country, and the AO is.. what does that tell you? to me it says CONTRACTS
     
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  25. Anaconda

    Anaconda Hall of Fame

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    True, but he wasn't really meant to win a slam . But i admit calling him 'not very good' is harsh as every slam winner is good.
     
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  26. jms007

    jms007 Professional

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    Yeah, contracts. I suspect the US Open contract is more expensive than the AO.

    But that aside, I personally think the AO has been more fun to watch than USO in the past couple of years. US Open has kind of been a turn-off, partially because of the disrespect the organizers and TV producers at the US show to non-US players. Yeah Agassi is entertaining to listen to, but there's a guy who's playing a match while you focus your camera on the commentator's booth!
     
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  27. No he wasnt, everyone in Sweden were shocked like crazy, it came from nowhere.
    Yes, thats true.
     
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  28. Gorecki

    Gorecki G.O.A.T.

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    not my point..

    the uso has contracted broadcast with the third channel... contracts are contracts... they are binding.. just that... proves nothing either way... is this more clear?
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2009
    #28
  29. Gemini

    Gemini Hall of Fame

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    Obviously, I have to disagree with that logic as Johansson was VERY good player when he was on tour. He wasn't necessarily Grand Slam winning talent but he got lucky enough that year that he did win it.

    One reason the AO is viewed as lesser than the other three is because many players didn't want to make the trek down to Australia from other parts of the world.
     
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  30. Kegzz

    Kegzz Rookie

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    It's because it's younger and hasn't got as much history as the other three slams. However, I see that as something that is amongst fans. I don't think the players will care as winning a Grand Slam makes you a GS Champion, something a lot of players want.
     
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  31. jms007

    jms007 Professional

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    mmmhmm, I gotcha.
    What's the third channel, btw?
     
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  32. Gorecki

    Gorecki G.O.A.T.

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    what good would it do? it's one of many national channels! do you know the Portuguese TV channels?

    fyi, it's the SportTv 2 channel
     
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  33. GeoffB

    GeoffB Rookie

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    Wimbledon and RG have continuously been the top grass and clay court tournaments for essentially the entire history of the sport, so obviously those will be the most prestigious two.

    So the AO has two factors working against it. First, it's a hardcourt tournament, which produces great tennis but does seem to lack some of the soul (and certainly history) of the traditional clay and grass surfaces. Secondly, no matter what surface the AO picks, it will be competing against another slam (unless they go with carpet or synthetic grass, which I think would be even worse). If it picks grass, it'll play second fiddle to Wimbledon, same for RG with clay. As it stands, it's the "other" hardcourt major to the USO.

    That said, the AO is plenty prestigious, so this isn't exactly a problem. Plus, there's plenty to like more about the AO than the USO. I wince every time some corporate dufus takes mike during the finals ceremony of the USO and starts announcing the size of each check (pausing for crowd approval). The most recent ceremony was particularly painful - telling Del Potro he needed to make it quick with his speech because they were running out of time, yet taking plenty of time to spew corporate sludge about how great it must be to drive a Lexus.
     
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  34. jms007

    jms007 Professional

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    No, not really. I wanted to know if it was one of "free" major public channels or a sport-specific channel. Just wanted to know the deal in other countries for my own curiousity.
     
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  35. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Yeah, right, Hewitt would rather not win a Grand Slam than to win Wimbledon or to win his very first Grand Slam at the US Open. Tell me another one. :-?

    If he did indeed say that, which I highly doubt he did, he was lying to the Australian press to make his Australian fans feel better.
     
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  36. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Ask Patrick Rafter if the biggest disappointment in his career was not winning Wimbledon or not winning the Australian Open.
     
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  37. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    The OP's question is about prestige, not which GS is the most player or fan friendly.
     
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  38. Gorecki

    Gorecki G.O.A.T.

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    ok. legit question...

    all of them are pay per view local sports channels...
     
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  39. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Hmmm....the last I checked, the U.S. is a much bigger media market than Portugal is.

    The TV networks in the U.S. didn't cover the AO because they didn't think it would draw enough viewers. That's the bottom line. If they thought they could make money, they would have covered it. It's NOT about contracts, it's about RATINGS!!
     
    #39
  40. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    The other 3 Slams are covered by free broadcast network stations in the U.S. However, the AO for a while was not covered by ANY network. Now it's covered by ESPN and Tennis Channel, both of which are pay cable channels. You can't watch it over the air for free, like you can the other 3 Slams.
     
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  41. Gorecki

    Gorecki G.O.A.T.

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    last time i checked USO is not the biggest Tennis event in Australia. your point?
     
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  42. Cesc Fabregas

    Cesc Fabregas Legend

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    Thats because he came closer to winning Wimbledon, he never got a sniff of winning the Australian.
     
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  43. the fat pumpkin

    the fat pumpkin New User

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    The Austrilian Open is my favorite.
     
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  44. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Huh? What does that have to do with anything? :confused:

    The US Open is covered by the TV networks in Australia, is it not?
     
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  45. DownTheLine

    DownTheLine Hall of Fame

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    He would be hated by his country if he didn't say that.
     
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  46. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Maybe that's because he wanted to win Wimbledon more badly than he wanted to win the Australian Open?

    How close did Sampras get to winning the French Open compared to Wimbledon? Which one did Sampras care about more?
     
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  47. Darth_Timmaayyy!!

    Darth_Timmaayyy!! Banned

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    Actually I am not sure if it is? In fact, I think it is on Fox Sports, which is a cable channel. But the AO, Wimbeldon, and the French are on free to air (after a certain time)...
     
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  48. Darth_Timmaayyy!!

    Darth_Timmaayyy!! Banned

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    As usual, you are only speculating about what Rafter thought.. From what I know, surfing is more important to him now...
     
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  49. lawrence

    lawrence Hall of Fame

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    AO and Wimbledon are on covered in Australia, the USO and French however are not (excluding pay per view channels).
     
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  50. Blinkism

    Blinkism Legend

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    After the horrible Trophy Presentation at the US Open this year and the messed up scheduling that ruined quality tennis- I'd say the USO was my least favorite slam this year.

    The Australian Open was excellent, as were the other 2 slams.

    I think, in time, the Australian Open might overtake or come close to the USO in prestige if they can establish some sort of tradition.

    This will require players "owning" the Aussie Open. Winning it for many years in a row, like Nad at the FO and Fed at the USO and Wimby
     
    #50

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