Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Jarkko Niemenen on Margaret Court Arena at the Australian Open. Rod Laver Arena, the centre court, can be seen in the background.
Originally based at the grass courts at Kooyong in the city of Melbourne's inner south-east, the tournament was in danger of fading into irrelevance, but was revived in the 1980s with a shift to Melbourne Park, a new hardcourt venue next to the Melbourne Cricket Ground on the southern fringe of the central business district.
Like all the Grand Slam tournaments, there are men's and women's singles competitions, men's, women's, and mixed doubles, as well as junior and master's competitions.
Two tournaments were held in 1977; the first in January, the second in December. The tournament moved back to January in 1987, so no championship was decided in 1986.
The centre court, Rod Laver Arena, and the first show court are unusual in that they feature a movable roof which can be shut in case of rain or extreme heat. It is the only Grand Slam tournament that can feature indoor play.