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Australian Open 2012: Closing Notes

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686,006 tennis fanatics descended on Melbourne Park this summer for the 2012 edition of the Australian Open, smashing the previous record attendance of 653,860 set in 2010. A record daily attendance was achieved at 15 sessions this year, including a Grand Slam event daily attendance record on the middle Saturday, with 80,649 fans on site, up from 77,121 in 2011. Tennis was certainly alive and kicking in Melbourne this year.

Forty-seven nations were represented among the 256 players competing in main draw singles. There were 39countries represented in the men's singles and 40 in the women's draw. A total of 697 players competed across all events including 131 juniors, 20 wheelchair players and 22 legends of the game. Matches were officiated by 335 umpires and linespersons from 29 countries.

Novak Djokovic became the 100th men’s singles champion defeating Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open final 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7, (5), 7-5. Defending his men’s singles crown, Djokovic came from 4-2 down in the fifth set to win in 5 hours and 53 minutes, making it the longest men’s Grand Slam final in history. He was presented with the trophy by two-time Grand Slam champion Rod Laver. Victoria Azarenka defeated Maria Sharapova 6-3 6-0 to win her first Grand Slam title and the No.1 ranking. Also the 2005 winner of the Australian Open Junior Championships, Azarenka is only the second women in the Open era to win both titles since Chris O’Neil in 1978.

Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek caused an upset in the men’s doubles final, defeating top seeds Bob and Mike Bryan (USA) 7-6(1) 6-2, destroying their hopes of a sixth Australian Open doubles title and a twelfth Grand Slam title. It is the first time Paes and Stepanek have won an Australian Open title. Unseeded Russian duo Svetlana Kuznetsova and Vera Zvonareva won women’s doubles, taking three sets to defeat No.11 seedsSara Errani and Roberta Vinci from Italy. The champions were amazingly the last additions to the women’s draw. No.8 seeds Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Horia Tecau took home the mixed doubles title with a 6-3 5-7 [10-3] win over Elena Vesninaand Leander Paes.

World No.1 junior, Australia’s Luke Saville (SA) won the boys’ singles championship defeating Canada’s Filip Peliwo, 6-3 5-7 6-4 to claim his second major junior title after winning the Junior Championships at Wimbledon last year. Fifteen-year-old American Taylor Townsend won her first junior Grand Slam title with a 6-1 3-6 6-3 win over Yulia Putintseva.

Three-time Australian Open champion Martina Hingis returned to Melbourne Park for the new women’s legends event, joining the woman she was named after, Martina Navratilova, winner of a dozen Australian titles. Rounding out the field was Tracy Austin, Barbara Schett, Iva Majoli and Nicole Bradtke

Canada’s Milos Raonic clocked the fastest serve of the tournament at 228km/h, slightly slower than his best from last year's event. American John Isner took over the title of most aces from the Canadian, powering down 92 aces, the most of any man in the draw

Serena Williams recorded the fastest serve in the women’s draw,191km/h. Despite only reaching the fourth round Williams served the highest number of aces, 28.

More than 700 sets were played in 126 matches in the men’s draw, with 48% of matches going beyond three sets. In the women’s field, 32 matches went to three sets.

On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of his last Australian Open win, Ken Rosewall was honoured at the annual Legends Luncheon.  Joining Rosewall to celebrate this milestone were fellow Australian Open champions Rod Laver, Roy Emerson, Frank Sedgman, John Newcombe, Mervyn Rose, Ashley Cooper, Bill Bowrey and Mark Edmondson, all of whom also participated in a moving trophy ceremony to open the men’s final. Australian tennis legend Ken Fletcher was posthumously inducted into the Australian Tennis Hall of Fame.

The Wilson stringers hut restrung 3,300 racquets using 42km of string. Rafael Nadal set the record for having 57 racquets restrung during his run to the final. More than 50,000 Wilson tennis balls were used, with all used match balls re-canned and sold to fans and local tennis clubs. More than 2,500 official Australian Open towels were used by players on Rod Laver Arena, Hisense Arena and the show courts. 30,000 towels and more than 3,000 bags of player clothing were laundered.

The official player towel was the most popular item in the Australian Open Shop with 11,000 sold during the tournament. Fans piled their purchases into more than 22,000 official Australian Open tote bags. Fans enjoyed a selection of food and beverages including more than 25,000 gourmet Aussie sausages, 61,000 sandwiches, 159,000 ice creams and 155,000 bottles of water. In the exclusive Player Café more than 3,600 portions of pasta, 3,800 portions of meat and fish and more than 2,000 portions of fruit were served. Players were transported by a fleet of 100 Kia cars during the tournament, with 40,000 journeys made by 215 loyal drivers, with the fleet clocking up more than 350,000km

Digital & social media

· There were 13 million unique users on australianopen.com, up 39% on 2011. Visits were up 33% to more than 44 million and page views were up 7% to 287,030,309

· Most popular players are Roger Federer (408,085 page views), Novak Djokovic (374,985) and Rafael Nadal (347,154), Maria Sharapova (359,000), Victoria Azarenka (336,650) and Petra Kvitova (260,541)

· The AO Facebook page received 608,500 likes and twitter followers almost doubled from 41,480 in December 2011 to a current total of 80,374

· The official Australian Open iPhone app has been downloaded 664,197 times and the Android app more than 100,000 times

· 11,798,637 videos totalling 846,478 hours were watched on AOTV via australianopen.com

· A classic on-court catch from 15 year-old ballkid Dylan Colaci went viral, with more than 8.2 million views on youtube