AUSTRALIAN OPEN GRAND SLAM
The Australian Open is one of the Grand Slam tournaments of tennis, held annually in Melbourne each January.
“We went around the world to find the best possible surface and selected Plexicushion. It’s the tennis court surface that rewards the best shots and provides the players with an equal opportunity.” Craig Tiley, Tournament Director – Australian Open
WHY THE CHANGE TO PLEXICUSHION PRESTIGE ?
From 1988 to 2007 the tournament was played on Rebound Ace. The players struggled during the extremely hot conditions for which Melbourne is known.
They also argued for a faster and more consistent game. The new surface should also be more durable under heat stress. Tennis Australia responded.
In 2008, Plexicushion Prestige was chosen. Plexicushion produces a slightly softer and more breathable surface. This doesn’t change as much in hot conditions as Rebound Ace.
“Our plan has been to be in the medium to medium-fast pace range. On the ITF scale, thats about 34 to 38. We’re very pleased to be able to tell everyone that scientific testing has got us right smack bang in the middle of that, which is where we want to be.” Tiley said
“So from a scientific point of view, it has worked out great. So far the player perception has been great. Once you’ve got 500 players hit on them, there’ll probably be a range of perceptions, but we know scientifically now that at least we can back ourselves up with these tests.”
PLEXICUSHION – A SURFACE FOR CHAMPIONS
The Australian Open is now played on the familiar two tone blue Plexicushion courts.
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have each won two titles on the surface, while Djokovic is the most successful player, with his three Australian Open titles coming on plexicushion.
Serena Williams is the most successful woman, winning two of her five Australian Open titles (2009, 2010) on this surface. Victoria Azarenka won her first Australian Open title in 2012. The achievement also serves as her maiden Grand Slam title, after she defeated Maria Sharapova in straight sets.