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The Australian Open, an annual tennis spectacle held in Melbourne, has witnessed the rise of legends whose achievements echo through the corridors of sporting history.

From the golden era to the contemporary battlegrounds, the tournament has been graced by iconic figures who have left a permanent mark on the hard courts of Melbourne Park.

These days Novak Djokovic is the dominant force Down Under, and he’s the heavy favourite with those betting on tennis to win a record-extending 11th title this year.

As we watch the 2024 renewal of the tournament unfold, let’s delve into the tournament’s history to celebrate legendary players who have changed the game.

Rod Laver

No discussion of Australian Open legends is complete without mentioning Rod Laver, a name synonymous with tennis greatness.

Laver, hailing from Australia, achieved the remarkable feat of winning two calendar-year Grand Slams – an accomplishment that stands as a testament to his unparalleled skill and consistency.

His three titles at the Australian Open in the 1960s solidified Laver’s status as one of the sport’s all-time greats.

Margaret Court

In women’s tennis, Margaret Court’s dominance at the Australian Open is legendary.

With an astonishing 11 singles titles, Court’s prowess on the Melbourne courts is unmatched by any other woman.

Her versatility across all surfaces and relentless pursuit of excellence during the 1960s and early 1970s make her an enduring icon in the tournament’s history.

Pete Sampras

Pete Sampras, a name synonymous with excellence in men’s tennis during the 1990s, left his mark on the Australian Open.

Though known for his grass-court prowess, Sampras displayed his versatility by conquering the hard courts of Melbourne in 1994 and 1997.

His graceful serve-and-volley game, combined with mental fortitude, showcased the artistry of a true tennis legend.

Martina Navratilova and Steffi Graf

The 1980s witnessed a clash of tennis titans in the form of Martina Navratilova and Steffi Graf.

Navratilova’s aggression and Graf’s precision were on full display at the Australian Open, with both players etching their names into the tournament’s lore.

Navratilova claimed three singles titles, while Graf, with her powerful baseline game, secured her place as a four-time champion.

Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Djokovic

The turn of the century ushered in a new era of dominance, led by three tennis juggernauts – Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic.

Federer’s elegant shot-making, Nadal’s relentless tenacity, and Djokovic’s unparalleled versatility have produced some of the most thrilling moments in Australian Open history.

The trio, collectively known as the “Big Three,” has amassed 18 titles between them in Melbourne — with Federer winning six and Nadal winning twice to add to Djokovic’s 10.

The 36-year-old Serbian is still going strong and is expected to get the better of the likes of Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner in the Australian Open 2024 odds.

From the timeless brilliance of Rod Laver to the modern-day rivalry of Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic, Melbourne Park has been the stage for tennis greatness.

As the tournament continues to unfold each year, the legends of the Australian Open serve as a source of inspiration for aspiring players and a reminder of the enduring magic that transpires on the blue courts of Melbourne.

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