From Rod Laver to Roger Federer: the best players ever of the Australian Open

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From Rod Laver to Roger Federer: the best players ever of the Australian Open

Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Roy Emerson, Margaret Smith, Monica Seles and Serena Williams: there are some names inextricably linked to the history of the greatest tennis tournaments and the Australian Open are no exception.

Like in the early days of the tournament, when still playing on grass-courts, the first stars of the Australian Open were Anthony Wilding in men's singles. The 1920s were an important season, because there were also the first editions of the women's singles: those were the years dominated by Daphne Akhurst, winner of 5 editions of the tournament.

The 1920s and 1930s were instead in men's singles marked by Jack Crowford, Don Badge, Fred Perry and Jean Borotra. Between the 1930s and 1970s, women's singles was essentially tied to three names: Nancye Wynne, winner of 6 titles, by the Queen of Australian Open Margaret Smith (who still holds the 11-title record) and Evonne Goolagong, winner of four tournament editions.

In the men's singles, the tournament had three dominators between the 1940s and the 1970s: Ken Rosewall, 4-title winner, Roy Emerson, 6-title winner and Rod Laver, who triumphed 3 times. The 1980s were the years of Mats Wilander (3 titles), Stefan Edberg (2 titles), Ivan Lendl (2 titles), Martina Navratilova (3 titles), Chris Evert (2 titles) and Steffi Graf (4 titles), followed, in the 90s, by Jim Courier, Boris Becker (2 titles), Andre Agassi (4 titles), Pete Sampras (2 titles), Monica Seles (4 titles) and Martina Hingis (3 titles).

From the 2000s to today the men's singles was dominated by Roger Federer (6 titles) and Novak Djokovic (7 titles, records). The Swiss and Serb are perhaps considered the greatest men's singles tennis players at the Australian Open, despite the different surface compared to classic tennis (in fact the tournament was played on grass-courts untill 1988).

In the middle the important victories of Marat Safin, Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka. In the women's singles there were the 7 titles of Serena Williams, but also the victories of Victoria Azarenka (2 titles), Maria Sharapova, Kim Klijisters, Li Na, Angelique Kerber, Caroline Wozniacki and Naomi Osaka.