It was in 1885 when the custodians of tennis in Sydney decided a State Championships was needed to decide the best tennis player in the colonies.

From that modest start and over the next 119 years the NSW Open has developed into one of the worlds most prestigious tennis tournaments.

In tennis folklore the event holds a special place being the fifth oldest tournament in the world.

The honour roll is unquestionably one of the best of any tournament. The men’s event boasts champions such as Jack Crawford, Frank Sedgman, Lou Hoad, Ken Rosewall, Rod Laver, John Newcombe through to contemporary champions such as Yannick Noah, Pete Sampras, Roger Federer and our own Lleyton Hewitt.

Just as impressive on the women’s side from history names such as Joan Hartigan and Thelma Coyne, to Margaret Court and Evonne Goolangong-Cawley to most recently Martina Navratlilova, Monica Seles, Martina Hingis, Kim Clijsters and this year Justine Henin-Hardenne.

The move to Sydney Olympic Park in 2000 has allowed the event to develop further. One of the best tennis facilities in the world it has allowed tens of thousands of more attend, first class television coverage and superb facilities for sponsors and corporates.

In 2001 the event was voted by the men’s tennis governing body as the “ATP Tour Tournament of the Year”, a more prestigious award can not be won.

The events status in contemporary world tennis was confirmed in 2004 when on both the women’s and men’s side the quality of the field meant it was the third strongest tournament of the year (excluding Grand Slams).

No other event in Sydney on an annual basis attracts the absolute elite of a sport and the remarkable international, national and local media coverage as does the NSW Open.