Melbourne Pros Pursue the Prize: Australian Open Trophies

Let’s face it, tennis players are incredibly persistent, especially when it comes to winning. It’s no different when it comes to the Australian Open trophies. 

This year’s 2021 Australian Open is offering a whopping 80 million dollars in prize money.  Not to mention two audacious pros, one from the ATP Tour and the other from the WTA Tour, will have their names etched beside some of the greatest players in all of history on the symbolic winner’s trophy. 

Australian Open trophies
Australian Open trophies

While there is much at stake, and many hurdles, there can only be one winner. 

Single players will compete against 128 of their peers during seven rounds of play on a hard-court surface. The top two seeds are typically bequeathed a first-round bye, and players losing in the first round of the qualifying will take home $25,000. 

The goal of every player will be to make it to the finals held in Rod Laver Arena, located in Melbourne. 

In addition to the generous purse, there are two perpetual trophies presented to each of the male and female singles winners. 

Australian Open Men’s Trophy

The men’s trophy was christened the Norman Brooks Challenge Cup, after one of Australia’s prized champions. 

Brooks won three Grand Slam singles titles between 1907 and 1914, and four more as a doubles player before 1924. He was a dominant part of the Australasian Davis Cup team that won the title six different times. 

After he retired from tennis, he helped with the development of Kooyong, a world-renowned tennis center.  He became the first president of the Lawn Tennis Association of Australia, in 1926, and held that post for 29 years, before retiring in June 1955. 

Remember folks, before 1988, players in the Australian Open would play on a grass surface. 

The 115-year-old silver trophy has an amazing backstory.  

It dates back to 1906 England.  It’s 38 cm wide, including the handle, 43 cm tall including the plinth, and is said to be sculpted from silver that was excavated from the ruins of a Roman villa in the late 1770s. 

Among some of the biggest names to earn an inscription on the side of this piece of history, include Novak Djokovic, Roy Emerson, Roger Federer, Andre Agassi, Rod Laver, Boris Becker, Jim Courier, Stefan Edberg, Ivan Lendl, and Pete Sampras. 

Australian Open Women’s Trophy

The women’s trophy is massively sophisticated. 

It was baptized the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup in honor of the late Daphne Akhurst, a benevolent Australian player.

Akhurst won the Australian title five times and was a trailblazer in women’s sports. 

Between piano recitals, she taught herself how to play tennis and won a variety of schoolgirl competitions before winning the title at County of Cumberland ladies’ singles in 1923.  

Her career highlights include five ladies Australian doubles titles and four mixed doubles with her long-time partner Jean Borotra.

In 1930 she married Royston Stuckey Cozens, a tobacco manufacturer. Then she retired after winning the Australian ladies’ doubles championship in 1931. 

Sadly, she died during childbirth in 1933 at the age of 29.  

While the country mourned her death, officials renamed the trophy as a tribute to her legacy. 

Today, the beautifully crafted trophy stands at 50.8 cm tall. 

It is predominantly made of silver with two sets of gold emblazoned tennis rackets. One set garnishes the top of the trophy, while the other adorns the base. 

Among some of the biggest names to have graced its exterior, include Daphne Akhurst Cozens, Victoria Azarenka, Jennifer Capriati, Chris Evert, Steffi Graf, Martina Hingis, Martina Navratilova, Monica Seles, Margaret Smith Court, Serena Williams, and the heroic Billy Jean King. 

After they are presented to their respected champions, the originals will return to the club. After that, the winners will be bestowed a slightly smaller replica. 

To learn more about the Australian Open trophies and your favorite players, including what brands they wear and racquets they play with, visit us at TENNISEXPRESS.COM.

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