New year, new season of tennis.

Canada’s tennis stars are set to compete at the first Grand Slam of the year, the Australian Open. Your social media and news channels will feature tennis for the next couple of weeks. To help you cheer on our Canadian athletes as they compete down under, here are some facts about the Australian Open:

What is the Australian Open?

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The Australian Open is the first of tennis’ four Grand Slam tournaments held each year. The tournament dates to 1905 when it was the Australasian Championships. It became a major championship in 1924. It has been known as the Australian Open since 1969 when professional players were first permitted to compete. It has been permanently staged in Melbourne on the southeast coast of Australia since 1972. Melbourne Park has been the Australian Open’s home court since 1988.

When is the Australian Open?

The Australian Open is held annually in the last two weeks of January. The 2019 tournament will take place January 14-27.

Which Canadians are competing in the Australian Open?

The men’s singles draw will include two Canadians: 16th seed Milos Raonic and 25th seed Denis Shapovalov.

The women’s singles draw will also have two Canadians: Eugenie Bouchard, currently ranked 79th in the world, and Bianca Andreescu, currently ranked 107th in the world. Andreescu got into the main draw through the qualifying tournament, just days after advancing to her first career WTA final.

The women’s doubles draw includes Gabriela Dabrowski who is currently ranked 10th in the world for doubles. Dabrowski enters the women’s doubles draw with her partner Yifan Xu of China as the third seed.

When are the Canadians playing at the Australian Open?

The schedule of play for each day will be posted here the day prior.

Raonic’s first round opponent will be Australian Nick Kyrgios, ranked 51st in the world. Shapovalov will face 82nd ranked Spaniard Pablo Andujar.

Bouchard will open against Shuai Peng of China, ranked 129th in the world but granted a wild card entry. Andreescu will also meet a wild card, American Whitney Osuigwe, ranked 199th in the world. Dabrowski will match up against Czech’s Barbora Strycova and Marketa Vondrousova.

What is the time difference between Australia and Canada?

Melbourne is 16 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time and 19 hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time. So when the day sessions begin at 11:00 a.m. in Melbourne, it is 7:00 p.m. in Toronto and Montreal and 4:00 p.m. in Vancouver. Night sessions that begin at 7:00 p.m. in Melbourne will be seen at 3:00 a.m. in Toronto and Montreal and at midnight in Vancouver. Set those alarm clocks!

Where can I watch the Australian Open?

The Australian Open will be broadcast across Canada by TSN/RDS. TSN’s full schedule is available here.

What is the prize for winning the Australian Open?

The total prize money pool for the 2019 Australian Open is $62.5 million AUD ($59.64 million CAD). The Australian Open has had gender parity with its prize payouts since 2001.

In 2019, the men’s and women’s singles champions will earn $4.1 million ($3.91 million CAD) while the champion men’s and women’s doubles teams will take home $750,000 ($715,724 CAD). The mixed doubles winners earn $185,000 ($176,545 CAD) as a team.

The winner of the men’s singles tournament is presented with the Norman Brooks Challenge Cup, named for a former Australian tennis champion. The winner of the women’s singles tournament receives the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup, in honour of a five-time singles champion. Both trophies were first awarded in 1934.

Who has won the most Australian Open titles?

Margaret Court won 11 women’s singles titles, seven of them in the amateur-only era (1960-66) and four in the open era (1969-71, 1973). Serena Williams is the open era leader with seven victories (2003, 2005, 2007, 2009-10, 2015, 2017).

Roger Federer (2004, 2006-07, 2010, 2017-18), Novak Djokovic (2008, 2011-13, 2015-16), and Roy Emerson (1961, 1963-67) have all won six men’s singles titles.

Which Canadians have won the Australian Open?

Canada’s Gabriela Dabrowski, left, and Croatia’s Mate Pavic hold their trophy aloft after defeating Hungary’s Timea Babos and partner India’s Rohan Bopanna in the mixed doubles final at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)

Daniel Nestor won the men’s doubles title at the 2002 Australian Open with Bahamian partner Mark Knowles. Nestor has also won the mixed doubles title three times (2007, 2011, 2014).

Canada’s most recent champion is Gabriela Dabrowski who won the mixed doubles title at the 2018 Australian Open with her partner Mate Pavic of Croatia.

What weather and temperature is expected at the Australian Open?

Australia experiences summer during the Australian Open. The temperature during the 2019 tournament is expected to range from 24 to 36 degrees Celsius. Temperature readings are taken throughout the day and a match referee has the discretion to suspend play as part of the tournament’s Extreme Heat Policy.

To help keep play going, however, the Australian Open has installed retractable roofs on all three show courts (Rod Laver Arena, Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne Arena).

What surface is on the courts at the Australian Open?

The courts at the Australian Open feature a blue Plexicushion surface. The Plexicushion surface is considered a hard court, similar to the surface used at the US Open. The hard court surface is considered a middle ground between clay and grass surfaces.

What are the other Grand Slam tennis tournaments?

The Australian Open is the first of four Grand Slam tennis tournaments. The other three are:

Roland-Garros (commonly called the French Open)

  • May 27 – June 10
  • Paris, France
  • Outdoor red clay surface

Wimbledon

  • July 2 – 15
  • Wimbledon, London, England
  • Outdoor grass surface

US Open

  • August 27 – September 9
  • Queens, New York, United States
  • Outdoor hard DecoTurf surface