The Australian Open in first of four Grand Slam tennis tournaments. The other three tournaments are the French Open, the U.S. Open, and Wimbledon. The tournament is held annually in January, which marks the middle of the Australian summer.
The Australian Open was first held in 1905 and was initially played on grass. As of 1988, the tournament has been played on the hard courts at Melbourne Park. The two main courts used in the tournament are Rod Laver Arena and Hisense Arena and feature retractable roofs, which are shut during rain or extreme heat.
In 2008, the Rebound Ace surface, which had been in place for the past 20 years at Melbourne Park, was replaced by a cushioned, medium-paced, acrylic surface known as Plexicushion Prestige. Roger Federer and Serena Williams are the only players to win the Australian Open on both Rebound Ace and Plexicushion Prestige.
Like all other Grand Slam tournaments, there are men's and women's singles competitions; men's, women's, and mixed doubles; and junior's, wheelchair, exhibition, and legends' competitions.
The Australian Open typically has very high attendance. The 2010 Australian Open achieved the highest ever attendance record for any Grand Slam tournament with a single day peak of 77,043 and an overall attendance of 653,860.