Australian Open, the first of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments held each year, began on Monday, January 19, 2008 at Melbourne Park.
Here's an overview of one of the most prestigious tennis tournaments.
The tournament was organised for the first time in 1905. Only some top-ranked but amateur players took part in the event, then called Australian Championships.
It was initially based at the grass courts at Kooyong in the city of Melbourne's inner south-east. In 1968, it took a new turn by changing into an open era.
The Australian Open was organised in December from 1977 to 1985. In 1987, it returned to the original January date. No tournament was held in 1986, because of returning to January.
In 1988, the Australian Open was shifted to Melbourne Park, which was then known as Flinders Park, a new hardcourt venue near Melbourne Cricket Ground. Tournaments
Like all the Grand Slam tournaments, there are men's and women's singles competitions, men's, women's and mixed doubles, and also junior and master's competitions.
The Australian Open is the only Grand Slam tournament that organises indoor play.
As the event is held when the Australian summer reaches its climax, it is infamous for the hot days. However, an extreme-heat policy is practised when temperatures become too hot to bear.