The Australian Open men’s championship started in the year 1905. It is famously called as the Grand Slam of Asia-Pacific. Since the start of the tournament it has varied the playing surfaces starting with Grass and then changed to Carpet. The surface was again changed to hard courts in 1988 and since then continues to be the same.
From the start of the Open Era in 1969, many new champions have emerged taking home the highly adored Norman Brookes trophy. We take a look at the 5 youngest Australian Open men’s singles champions of the Open Era.
One of the best players ever to have picked up a tennis racquet, Connors won 8 Grand Slams in his career. Connors won his 1st and only Australian Open in 1974, the same year when he had the magical run of lifting 3 Grand Slam trophies. Connors defeated Australia’s Philip Dent in the final. The former World Number 1 was then aged just 21 years and 121 days, making him one of the youngest male players to lift the Australian Open trophy.
The year 1974 was Jimmy’s 1st time participation in the Australian Open. He again played in 1975 to defend his title but finished runner up to local hero John Newcombe. After that Jimmy never participated in the Australian Open because it used to be held in December till 1986 and many players skipped the event due to fatigue from a long season.
The Serb Superstar is the greatest male Australian Open champion of all times with 7 trophies already won and potentially a few more to come. Novak is also one of the youngest Australian Open male single’s champions with his 1st success coming in 2008. He was aged just 20 years and 251 days when he defeated the Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to register his 1st ever Grand Slam tournament win.
Djokovic again won the Australian Open 3 times back to back in 2011, 2012 and 2013. The former World Number 1 won the championship again in 2015 and 2016 before winning his 7th Australian Open crown in the year 2019. The Serb is a strong favorite to win his 8th Australian Open title in 2020.
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If there ever was ever a player to disapprove the theory, good men finish last, it was this talented Swede who let his racquet do the talking. Edberg won 6 Grand Slam singles trophies in his career. Two of them were won at Melbourne Park in the Rod Laver arena. Edberg’s 1st Australian Open title came in 1985 when he was just 19 years and 323 days old making him one of the youngest Australian Open champions. Stefan defeated fellow countryman and two time defending champion Mats Wilander, who was the strong tournament favorite.
Edberg could not defend his title in 1986 as the Australian Open was not held that year due to change in timing of the tournament from December to January. However in the Australian Open 1987, Edberg successfully defended his title by defeating local hero Pat Cash in the final. Edberg also won the Australian Open in doubles category 2 times in the years 1987 and 1996. Thus Melbourne Park was hugely successful place for the talented Swede.
Another Swedish great and 7 time Grand Slam winner, Mats Wilander won 3 Australian Open trophies in his career. Wilander’s 1st Australian Open title came in the year 1983 when he was aged 19 years and 111 days. Seeded 3rd in the tournament, Wilander beat top seed Ivan Lendl of the Czech Republic in 3 straight sets. This made him one of the youngest champions of the Australian Open.
However before the 1983 Australian Open success, Wilander was already a Grand Slam champion. He had won the 1982 French Open in his maiden attempt and had already become one of the youngest Grand Slam winners. Before turning 20 years of age Mats Wilander had won 4 Grand Slam singles tournaments, a record which he shares with a few more tennis players.
One of the finest players Australia ever produced, Rosewall won Grand Slams in both pre and post Open Era. Ken won 8 Grand Slams in his career out of which 4 were won at his home slam of the Australian Open. Rosewall won his 1st Australian Open in the year 1953 when aged 19 years and 76 days beating fellow Australian Mervyn Rose.. He then again won the championship in 1955, 1971 and 1972.
Rosewall’s 4th Australian Open win came in 1972 when he was aged above 38 years. This made him the oldest Australian Open champion as well as the oldest male Grand Slam champion in any of the 4 slams. Ken Rosewall thus enjoys the very rare distinction of being the youngest and the oldest Australian Open male champion.