The Kooyong Classic is a tennis tournament held annually at Kooyong, Victoria. Taking place in early January, it provides elite players heading to the Australian Open a final hit-out before the first Grand Slam tournament of the New Year. The event consistently attracts some of the biggest names in men’s tennis to battle it out on the hard courts at Kooyong Stadium, around 7km south-east of Melbourne’s CBD. After being ranked and drawn, four first round matches are played, after which the four winners advance to the semi-finals. In contrast to Grand Slam tournaments, Kooyong Classic winners are decided in a best of three sets match.
Unlike other lead-up tournaments, the Kooyong Classic only has a men’s field, apart from in 1993 when Aussie Rachel McQuillan won the women’s singles title. Some of Austrralia’s greats have taken out the event; Lleyton Hewitt has won it twice in 2011 and 2013, while Mark Philippoussis (1998) and Pat Cash (1988) have also reigned supreme. Despite being an Australian event, Americans tend to dominate the Kooyong Classic, with 10 out of the 26 winners coming from the US, with another seven finishing second.
Although the event’s purpose is to serve as a warm up to the first major Grand Slam of the year, only one man has completed a Kooyong Classic/Australian Open double in the same year. American hard hitter Andre Agassi achieved this twice in 2000 and 2001. Along with Agassi, Michael Chang and Andy Roddick have been the most successful players, registering three ‘Classic’ wins each.
|YEAR||WINNER||RUNNER UP||FINAL SCORE|
|2016||DAVID GRIFFIN||FELICIANO LOPEZ||6-4, 6-2|
|2015||FERNANDO VERDASCO||ALEKSANDR DOLGOPOLOV, JR.||7-6, RETIRED|
|2014||KEI NISHIKORI||TOMAS BERDYCH||6-4,7-5|
|2013||LLEYTON HEWITT||JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO||6-1,6-4|
|2012||BERNARD TOMIC||MARDY FISH||6-4, 3-6, 7-5|
|2011||LLEYTON HEWITT||GAEL MONFILS||7-5, 6-3|
|2010||FERNANDO VERDASCO||JO-WILFRED TSONGA||7-5, 6-3|
|2009||ROGER FEDERER||STANISLAS WAWRINKA||6-1, 6-3|
|2008||ANDY RODDICK||MARCOS BAGHDATIS||7-5, 6-3|
|2007||ANDY RODDICK||ROGER FEDERER||6-2, 3-6, 6-3|
|2006||ANDY RODDICK||TOMMY HAAS||6-3, 7-6|
|2005||ROGER FEDERER||ANDY RODDICK||6-4, 7-5|