Extract from Agassi‘s book Open:

“I’m the second seed in the 2003 Australian Open, and I come out growling, ferocious. I reach the semis and beat Ferreira in ninety minutes. In six matches I’ve dropped only one set.

Andre Agassi

In the final I face Rainer Schuettler from Germany, I win three straight sets, losing only five games and tying the most lopsided victory ever at the Australian Open. My eighth slam, and it’s my best performance ever. I tease Stefanie that it’s like one of her matches, the closest I’ll ever come to experiencing her kind of dominance.

Rainer Schuettler
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It would have been only fitting had Pat Cash won the last Australian Open staged at Kooyong. The year was 1987, and so far it had been good to Cash, who’d won Wimbledon back in July. But there”s something special about winning your hometown championship, and Cash had grown to love the so-called “home of the wildfowl” since his days as a little boy watching his parents being coached there.

On a sunny afternoon, the centre court stands were full of nostalgic success-starved local fans as the Melbourne lad and Sweden’s Stefan Edberg staged a gripping display of serve and volley tennis until Edberg emerged a narrow winner, 6-3 6-4 3-6 5-7 6-3.

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In 1988, the Australian Open moved from Kooyong to Flinders Park (now Melbourne Park) and became a hard court event. January 11, 1988 was the first day of play at the new stadium.

Play begins at the Australian Open at the new $60 million Australian National Tennis Center at Flinders Park in Melbourne with American qualifier Wendy Wood winning the first match played in the new stadium court, later to be known as Rod Laver Arena, beating number 14 seed Dianne Balestrat of Australia.
Wood, 23, defeats the top-ranked Australian woman 6-2 4-6 8-6, registering her first professional match victory. Balestrat, 31, and an Australian Open finalist in 1977, says she has some difficulty adapting to the court – the synthetic Rebound Ace – used for the first time at the Australian Open after a switch from grass courts.

Pat Cash, the number 4 seed and reigning Wimbledon champion, plays the second stadium court match and is greeted with boos and shouts from a group of anti-apartheid protestors who, in protest of Cash playing in South Africa the previous year, also throw tennis balls on the court before being escorted from the stadium. Cash is fined $5000 for swearing at a linesman in the final game of his 7-5 6-1 6-4 win over 20-year-old Thomas Muster.

Also on the day, Yannick Noah, the number 5 seed staves off two match points before overcoming Roger Smith of the Bahamas 6-7 5-7 6-4 6-2 16-14 in 4 hours 51 minutes, the longest recorded match at the time at the Australian Open.

Source: On this day in tennis history by Randy Walker

The junior rivalry of Jan Lehane and Margaret Court was always one-sided. Lehane used to demolish Court, as she did all other juniors. She was one of the first women to use a double handed backhand, and it was withering.
Twice, Lehane mercilessly beat Court in the final of the Australian under 19 singles. On the second occasion, at Adelaide, the score was an embarrassing 6-0 6-0.

That will never happen again! muttered Margaret as she walked from the court. And it didn’t.

By the time they met again – at Brisbane in the final of the Australian women’s singles – the 17 year old Court had eliminated Wimbledon champion Maria Bueno. She now beat Lehane 7-5 6-2 and also beat her in the 1961, 1962, 1963 finals without once conceding a set. In 1964 Smith varied her routine by defeating Lehane in semifinal, she beat Lesley Turner in the final instead.

“It wasn’t easy for me” said Jan of her five consecutive losses to Margaret Court. “No one remembers anyone that comes second. The consolation was she was the greatest of all time.”

Source: 2010 official program

Sometimes in life opportunity knocks but once. This was so for Neale Fraser in his quest for the Australian singles championship. By 1960 he was the world’s number one player. Rod Laver and Roy Emerson were fine players too, though not quite of Fraser’s standing.

The 1960 Australian final between Fraser and Laver was played at Brisbane in stifling heat. Fraser’s boyhood dream of winning his national title seemed likely to be fulfilled when he took the first two sets. The heat affected him more than Laver, however, and he yielded the third set in a lather of sweat.

Fraser’s big chance came in the fourth, when he held a match point. He was at net, seemingly in control of the point, when The Rocket unexpectedly whipped a shot at him head-high.
Fraser, in two minds, mistimed his volley. He continued to wilt for another two hours until Laver converted his seventh match point for a draining 5-7 3-6 6-3 8-6 8-6 victory.
That year, Fraser won both Wimbledon and US championships. Never again, though, did he have a shot at the national title he desired so much.