Australian Open 2012: 10 Best Men's Competitors in Tournament History

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Australian Open 2012: 10 Best Men's Competitors in Tournament History
Mark Dadswell/Getty Images

The first of the four Grand Slam tournaments in the calendar year is the Australian Open.

But it was not always known as the Australian Open, it started as the Australasian Championships and in 1927 became the Australian Championships.

When professionals were allowed in 1969, it then became the Australian Open.

The tournament dates back to 1905, and since it's inception it has been played in seven different cities—two in New Zealand and five in Australia.

The tournament has been held in Melbourne since 1972, and at its current venue in Melbourne Park since 1988.

It has been played in three different surfaces—grass (up to 1987), rebound ace and plexicushion. 

A tournament rich in history, it has seen the best of the best come year in and year out, in search for a piece of history.

Winning this Grand Slam tournament gets your name forever linked to the other few to have won it—the honor to call themselves a Grand Slam tournament champion.

The following list covers players from both historical periods of the tournament.

It's very difficult to compare the greatness of the players when the professionals were not playing, and to what they face since the open era.

But whether it was in the amateur or open era, there is a constant that defines them: winning.

Let's take a look at the top 10 winners of the Australian Open.

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