Profile | Sydney International

Around since 1885, the Sydney International has been a frutiful stop for home players

Graphic of Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House | By Stephen Higgins

By Stephen Higgins | 9 January 2018

Name Sydney International

Dates Second week of January

Established 1885

Surface Outdoor hard

Tour ATP & WTA

Tier ATP 250 & Premier

2018 Prize Money (ATP) $468,910 | (WTA) $733,900

Location The tournament is held at the NSW Tennis Centre in Sydney Olympic Park

History

Established in 1885, the Sydney International is one of the world's oldest tennis tournaments.

The first edition was played at the Sydney Cricket Ground with William Salmon and Annie Lamb the first champions.

After a short period at Double Bay, an eastern suburb of Sydney, the New South Wales Open moved permanently to White City in 1922.

As you may expect of the time, home players dominated both draws during the open's early years. There were only two non-Australian male champions before 1949 as the likes of Dudley Webb, Granville Sharp, Jack Crawford and John Bromwich dominated.

The women's side was much the same as Ellen Montgomerie Mayne, Phoebe Howlitt and Nancy Wynne Bolton captured numerous titles in New South Wales.

While Australians continued to feast on the tournament in the '50s and '60s, international players started to breakthrough.

The year before her legendary calendar grand slam feat, Maureen Connolly was victorious in the 1952 open. Althea Gibson ('56) and Bille Jean King ('70) also captured a title apiece either side of Margaret Court's six.

That period was truly the golden age of Australian men's tennis as grand slam champions Lew Hoad, Ken Rosewall, Neale Fraser, Fred Stolle, Rod Laver and Tony Roche competed for the Australian Open appetizer.

In the years following the arrival of the Open Era, home players continued to rack up the trophies. It was not to last though.

A string of Frenchmen and Americans - including multiple winners Martina Navratilova and Pete Sampras - took ownership of the Sydney International as the millenium dawned.

The 1999 edition was the last at the White City grounds as the tournament moved west to the brand new Sydney Olympic Park Tennis centre (now known as the NSW Tennis Centre).

The AU$42.9 million facility was built for the city's hosting of the 2000 Olympic Games. The main show court is called Ken Rosewall Arena after the Australian legend and 1956 Sydney champion.

The women's event had a particularly Belgian flavour in the noughties as Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters won five of the six editions from 2003-08.

There was some welcome delight for locals on the men's side as Lleyton Hewitt won the first of four titles in 2000. He was the first Australian male champion for 11 years.

In 2012, Victoria Azarenka won Sydney and then the Australian Open two weeks later, the first woman to achieve this feat since Martina Hingis in 1997.

Recent Champions

Gilles Muller hits a volley
In 2017, Gilles Muller won his first ATP title aged 33 in Sydney |Mirsasha

Year Men's Women's
2017 Gilles Muller Jo Konta
2016 Viktor Troicki Svetlana Kuznetsova
2015 Viktor Troicki Petra Kvitova
2014 Juan Martin del Potro Tsvetana Pironkova
2013 Bernard Tomic Agnieszka Radwanska