The Australian Open is the first Grand Slam of every tennis calendar. Due to its timing after the year-end break, the players tend to be in high spirits and hence they call it a, ‘happy slam’. Every player wants to do well here, to get an ideal start to his or her tennis year. In the 115 years of the Australian Open, many great champions have emerged.
In this article we take a look at 5 male players who have managed to win the Australian Open singles and hold the Sir Norman Brookes championship trophy most number of times.
5. Ken Rosewall– 4 Times Champion
The Sydney born Aussie tennis great Rosewall was one of the best players in the world throughout the 1950s and 1960s. The former World Number 1 won 8 Grand slams in his career, 4 of which came on his home turf at the Australian Open. This made Rosewall one the best players in the history of the tournament.
Born in 1934, Ken Rosewall won his 1st Australian Open title in 1953 beating fellow countryman Mervyn Rose in 3 straight sets. This made him one of the youngest winners of the Australian Open. Rosewall would then go on to repeat his success in the tournament in 1955, 1971 and 1972.
The former World Number 1 won his 4th Australian Open slam in 1972 when aged 38. This created an astonishing gap of 19 years between his 1st and last Grand Slam win, a record in itself. By winning the 1972 Australian Open at the age of 38, Ken Rosewall became the oldest male player ever to win a Grand Slam, a record which still stands after 50 long years.
4. Andre Agassi– 4 Times Champion
The former World Number 1 is regarded as one of the best hard court players in tennis. Agassi’s talent was at full display at Melbourne Park more than anywhere else, where he won 4 singles Grand Slam titles.
The American legend won his 1st Australian Open title in 1995 when he beat fellow American and defending champion Pete Sampras in a 4 set thriller. After going down in the 1st set, Agassi came back strong to win the next 3 sets and clinch the championship.
Agassi repeated his success at Melbourne Park in 2000, 2001 and 2003 making him a 4 time Australian Open champion. In fact the Australian Open was the most important slam of Agassi’s career as 4 of his 8 Grand Slam trophies, came at Melbourne Park, earning him a place in the tennis hall of fame.
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3. Roy Emerson– 6 Times Champion
One of the best players Australia ever produced, Roy Emerson was the most successful Australian Open Champion for almost 50 years before his record of 6 slams was equaled and improved. Roy Emerson won his 1st Australian Open championship in 1961, when he beat his great compatriot Rod Laver.
The following year he finished as a finalist to Laver but after that would start an unmatched run at Melbourne Park. Emmo, as he was nicknamed won 5 consecutive Australian Open singles titles from 1963 to 1967. This made him a 6 time champion down under, a record that survived for almost 5 decades before being equaled by Novak Djokovic in 2016 and Roger Federer in 2017. Roy Emerson also held another record of 12 total Grand Slam titles for more than 30 years before being improved by Pete Sampras in 2000.
2. Roger Federer– 6 Times Champion
Roger Federer is the most successful male Grand Slam champion in the history of tennis with 20 trophy wins. He has won 6 Australian Open titles. Federer won his 1st Australian Open trophy in 2004 defeating Russia’s Marat Safin in 3 straight sets.
The former World Number 1 then went on to repeat his success at the Australian Open in 2006, 2007, 2010, 2017 and 2018. In fact, the Australian Open has been the 2nd most successful slam of Roger Federer’s career after Wimbledon. The Swiss legend ended a 4 year slam drought of 2013 to 2016 when he won the 2017 Australian Open against his great Spanish rival Rafael Nadal.
After winning the 2018 Australian Open at the age of 36, Roger Federer became one of the oldest Grand Slam winners in the Open Era. The success also powered him to become the oldest World Number 1 in men’s tennis.
1. Novak Djokovic– 7 Times Champion
There has been no male player as successful on the hard courts of Melbourne Park as the Serb great Novak Djokovic. It was in the year 2008 that Djokovic won the 1st of his 7 Australian Open trophies. The former World Number 1 defeated Frenchman Jo-Wilfried in 4 sets in the final match. Djokovic had earlier stunned the then World Number 1 and top seed Roger Federer in 3 straight sets in the semi-final.
From 2011 to 2013, Novak Djokovic strengthened his iron fist over the Australian Open. He won 3 back to back trophies at Melbourne Park including the epic 6 hour final in 2012 against Rafael Nadal, which is the longest Grand Slam final in history of men’s tennis.
The Serb superstar would again raise the Australian Open trophy in 2015 and 2016 defeating Andy Murray in both the finals. In 2019 Djokovic raised his 7th Australian Open trophy by beating Rafael Nadal in straight sets. This placed him on the leader-board of Australian Open male champions. The former World Number 1 is now an overwhelming favorite to repeat his heroics at the 2019 Australian Open and thus take his total Grand Slam count to 17.