|News & Trends:
Being one of the four Grand Slam tournaments of tennis, the Australian
Open is a sports event that annually draws worldwide attention. Its yearly mid-January play dates make it the first of the Grand Slam events. Last year's winners Roger Federer and Serena Williams are among the favorites to be champions again in the 2011 Australian Open. Williams is a five-time tournament winner in eight years, while Federer has been the men's singles champion four times over the past six years.
While the Grand Slam of the Asia/Pacific competition occurs in Melbourne
, it attracts worldwide attention from millions of fans globally. IBM, a sponsor of the tournament and in charge of the Australian Open's online presence and IT needs, is determined to use social media to its fullest to provide online fans with the best virtual seats in the house.
Those attending live with mobile Internet access will also be more in the know than fans without it. There will be Twitter scouts roaming and tweeting throughout the event. The AO's Facebook page already has more than 115,000 people liking it. That number is likely to grow significantly over the next few months.
The online portal for the Australian Open will include live action, updates on players, and breaking news from the Rod Laver Arena and the Hisense Arena at Melbourne Park. Additionally, the AO's website will provide a live radio broadcast, scores from each court, and several blogs too.
The 2011 Australian Open runs from January 17-30. Qualifying matches take place January 12-15. This is the only Grand Slam tournament that began in the 20th century. The first AO took occurred in 1905. Wimbledon, which began in 1877, is the oldest of the Grand Slams. The first U.S. Open was in 1881, and the French Open made its debut in 1891.