The Australian Open 2012 took place at Melbourne Park in Melbourne. One of the most significant events of the world sporting calendar let alone the Australian sporting calendar, the event has become famous for putting on a great spectacle. This year was no exception as the men's final strode into the record books with a six hour marathon match.
The Royal Australian Mint struck this commemorative two dollar in recognition of the importance of the annual event. The
The 2012 Men's Australian Open event was hotly contested. Last years winner Novak Djokovic of Serbia played in the final against Rafael Nadal from Spain. The match was so close that is broke the record for being the longest final in tennis history at 5 hours and 53 minutes. The previous record was set four years earlier at the Wimbledon Grand Slam event. The eventual victor and retaining his Australian Open title was the Serbian Novak Djokovic. After the match was over, Rafael Nadal was overheard to say "good morning" as it had lasted until pastmidnight. This win for the Serbian star was his third Australian Open title (Sydney Morning Herald, 2012) .
The womens final takes place the day before the men's final but they are now equal on prize money as had been campaigned for some time. The women's final featured the lovely Maria Sharapova from Russia up against Victoria Azarenka of Belarus. Sharapova had previously won the Australian Open back in 2008 (Go Australia, 2012) Azarenka was seeded at number 3 prior to this tournament whereas Sharapova was seeded number four. It was set to be a great final but the clever money was on Azarenka as she appeared to be in confident mood. Unlike the men's marathon final though, this one was over in two straight sets. The Belarusian Victoria Azarenka was victorious 6-3, 6-0 taking the honours, along with a new world number one ranking.
One of the Worlds biggest sporting events, the Australian Open celebrates its centenary in 2005. The first tournament, known as the Australasian Tennis Championships, was played at the Warehouseman's Cricket Ground in Albert Park, Melbourne. The first Australian Open men's singles event was won by Alfred Dunlop of Australia beating Reginald Fraser of Australia in straight sets in 1905. The competition became the Australian Open in 1969 and moved to the Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne Park in January 1988. Rod Laver was one of Australia's greatest tennis stars. He was born on 9th August 1938 in Rockhampton, Queensland and won the Australian Open in 1960, 1962 and 1969. He was also Wimbledon Champion four times and was inducted into the Australian Tennis Hall of Fame in 1981 (Australian Open, 2013) . Other Hall of Fame member's include Evonne Goolagong, Daphne Jessie Akhurst, Nancye (Wynne) Bolton, John Bromwich, Sir Norman Brookes, Pat Cash, Ashley Cooper, Margaret (Smith) Court, Jack Crawford, Mark Edmondson, Roy Emerson, Lew Hoad, Thelma (Coyne) Long, Ken McGregor, John Newcombe, Gerald Patterson, Patrick Rafter, Mervyn Rose, Ken Rosewall, Frank Sedgman, Fred Stolle, Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde.
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