With the Australian Open completed for another year, it’s time to look back on the tournament that men’s singles winner Roger Federer referred to as the ‘Happy Slam’.
Australian Open 2007 set a new attendance record 554,858 patrons enjoying the action over the fortnight.
A star-studded men’s and women’s singles draw included eight former world No.1s and all of the top 20 men and 18 of the top 20 women. A total of 45 nations were represented in the singles main draws (32 countries in the men’s singles and 38 countries in the women’s singles).
Frenchwoman Sandra De Jenken became the first female to umpire a men's grand slam final she took charge of Roger Federer’s victory over Fernando Gonzalez last night.
The tournament saw the incredible comeback of Serena Williams who came into the tournament two weeks ago ranked No.81 and leaves with a projected ranking of No.14 and her third Australian Open women’s singles title.
Williams was the first unseeded player to win the title since Australian Chris O’Neil in 1978.
For the second consecutive year Australia had a finalist in the Australian Open Junior Championships, with unseeded Brydan Klein from Perth capturing the title this year. Klein is the first Australian winner of the title since Ben Ellwood in 1994.
The new Hawk-Eye video line-calling that was used for the first time this year at Melbourne Park was a great success with players and fans alike. In the men’s and women’s singles a total of 188 challenges were made with 86 of those being successful.
Entertaining the crowds were some of Australia’s top bands including Lior, The Black Sorrows, Jimmy Barnes and Tex and Tim.
Those who couldn’t get along in person made sure they kept in touch through the official website (www.Australianopen.com) powered by IBM. At the close of play on Day 13, 4.4 million different people had already visited the official Australian Open web site. To date they have made over 21 million visits to the web site, with 30.3% of those visits from Europe, 21.87% from the USA, 15.27% from Australia and 11.44% from Asia.
Favourite player profiles among the fans on www.Australianopen.com saw glamorous Russian Maria Sharapova take over from Martina Hingis who topped last year’s poll with Serena Williams in the second spot.
On the men’s side top seed Roger Federer topped the list above American Andy Roddick and Chilean Fernando Gonzalez.
The fastest serves of the tournament were recorded by USA’s Andy Roddick (231 km/h) while Australian Open 2007 Champion Serena Williams recorded the women’s fastest serve (202 km/h).
Helping the players serve were the racket stringers who strung over 2750 rackets using over 33km worth of string.
1367 members of the media were accredited at Australian Open 2007 (582 international, 785 Australian) from 39 countries.
And making it all happen behind the scenes were over 4,500 members of staff, including 314 Aviva Ballkids, 360 umpires, 192 courtesy car drivers and 65 statisticians.
A fleet of 81 official cars supplied by the tournament’s major sponsor Kia Motors made in excess of 35,000 journeys transporting players to and from Melbourne Park, clocking up more than 300,000km.
Patrons devoured more than 41,109 buckets of hot chips, 13,600 hot dogs, 21,300 serves of pizza, 21,323 tokyo rolls, 153,086 bottles of Evian water and 126,353 soft drinks.
Famous faces watching the action included entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson, Kostya Tszyu, Bec Hewitt, Jamie Durie, Michelle Wie, Danni Minogue, Tatiana Grigorieva and Australian swimmers Michael Klim and Matt Welsh.
Garnier World in Garden Square has seen more than 30,000 people through its doors, with the busiest day being Tuesday 23 January when 2,061 patrons visited. Over the fortnight 44 members of Garnier staff provided 9,700 mini facials, 10,500 hair styles and 6,800 massages and used 450,000 bobby pins.
The most popular item from the Australian Open retail shop was the official player towel with 6,500 sold at Melbourne Park and an additional 2,000 sold through the Australian Open on-line shop.
The t-shirts and headwear were more must have souvenir items this year. The Australian Open range of caps, hats and cowboy hats were extremely popular with more than 21,000 sold, whilst over 17,000 logo and fashion T-shirts were sold.