Jim Courier
Image via Theage.com

Over its century-plus run, the Australian Open has provided some of the most thrilling, unpredictable, and triumphant moments in Grand Slam tournament history. From Novak Djokovic to John McEnroe, many of tennis’ greatest players of all time have had noteworthy moments at the Melbourne Park event.

The 2014 Australian Open is just getting underway, as the top players in the game today look to make a name for themselves at the historic tournament. Flashing back to the greatest winners, sneaker moments, and ejections (we’re looking at you, McEnroe), these are The Sneakers Worn for the Most Memorable Moments of the Australian Open.

Riley Jones is a freelance writer from Charlottesville, VA and a contributor to Sneaker Report. With an unshakable affinity for basketball and all things ’90s, he can be found on Twitter @rchrstphr.

RELATED: The Sneakers Worn by the 10 Most Notable Men’s Singles Champs of the Australian Open
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Today in Performance Sneaker History: Agassi Wins the 1995 Australian Open

Arthur Ashe
Image via Povich Center

No. 1 - Arthur Ashe Breaks Ground

Year: 1970
Sneaker: BF Goodrich Jack Purcell

Tennis legend Arthur Ashe made history by becoming the only African-American to win men’s singles titles at Wimbledon, the US Open, and the Australian Open. His Melbourne win came in 1970, matched against Dick Crealy of Australia. Ashe would top Crealy 6-4, 9-7, 6-2 in the BF Goodrich Jack Purcell, the classic model which was eventually purchased by Converse.

After taking the first open era US Open men’s singles title in 1968, Ashe followed it up with this 1970 win, and officially turned pro later that year.

BF Goodrich Jack Purcell
Image via Pair.com

Steffi Graf
Image via Getty Images

No. 2 - Steffi Graf Kicks off Banner Year

Year: 1988
Sneaker: adidas Grand Slam

In 1988, Steffi Graf completed what was arguably the greatest year of professional tennis ever. By winning the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, US Open, and Olympic Gold Medal all in the same year, Graf established the term “Golden Slam.”

It’s a feat that no player, male or female, has been able to match since. Graf was a force to be reckoned with in the white/red adidas Grand Slam model. Although it may be a bit primitive compared to today’s styles, the Grand Slam is a classic performer.

adidas Grand Slam
Image via End Clothing

John McEnroe
Image via The Punch

No. 3 - McEnroe Ejected, Fined $65K

Year: 1990
Sneaker: Nike Air Trainer 1

Not every notable moment is a glorious one. On January 21, 1990, John was ejected from the Australian Open after reaching the fourth round against Mikael Pernfors. After becoming increasingly frustrated, McEnroe intimidated a lineswoman and then smashed his racket. He also used abusive language towards umpire Gerry Armstrong, which, due to a new Code of Conduct, was his third and final strike before being expelled from the competition.

To add to the embarrassment, McEnroe was hit with a $65,000 fine. Although it certainly wasn’t his finest moment, McEnroe took the punishment in style. Laced up in Tinker Hatfield’s revolutionary Nike Air Trainer 1 design, the tennis icon helped to make the model famous during the early years of cross-training sneakers.

Image via Inside the Sneaker Box
Image via Inside the Sneaker Box

Jim Courier
Image via Theage.com

No. 4 - Jim Courier Takes a Dive

Year: 1992 and 1993
Sneaker: Nike Supreme Court

Jim Courier had a knack for winning consecutive titles. In 1991 and 1992, he racked up two straight French Open wins, and doubled up on Australian Open titles in ’92 and ’93. Those four titles were the only Grand Slam singles wins of his career, but that didn’t stop him from leaving an unforgettable mark in Melbourne.

After his ’92 win over Stefan Edberg, Courier took a dive into the Yarra river. Earlier that morning, the local newspaper had featured a story highlighting the pollution levels of the river. In fact, a health department concluded that the pollution levels were up to 18 times above a safe measure. That didn’t stop Courier, because after he beat Edberg again in the 1993 finals, he did the same thing again.

Nike Supreme Court
Image via NikeTalk

Djokovic and Nadal
Image via ABC AU

No. 5 - Djokovic Goes the Distance to Beat Nadal

Year: 2012
Sneaker: adidas Barricade 6.0

The 2012 men's singles title may have been the most grueling of all for Djokovic. Matched against Rafael Nadal in the finals, the tennis greats went 5 hours and 53 minutes before deciding a winner. The epic confrontation stands as the longest match in Australian Open history and longest Grand Slam singles title match of the Open Era.

Will the Serbian sensation be able to make it four in a row this year?

adidas Barricade 6.0
Image via Sole Collector

Novak Djokovic
Image via Getty Images/Matt King

No. 6 - Djokovic Makes History with Three Straight Finals Wins

Year: 2011-2013
Sneaker: adidas Barricade line

Andre Agassi and Roger Federer have made incredible marks on the history of the Australian Open, but in recent years, the tournament has been ruled by one man and one man only: Novak Djokovic. The Joker just hasn’t let up in the Melbourne Park tourney, winning the men’s singles in 2011, 2012, and 2013. To get it done, Djokovic wore various adidas Barricade models, including the 6.0 and 7.0.

Will the Serbian sensation be able to make it four in a row this year?

Novak Djokovic
Image via Getty Images/Matt King

Riley Jones is a freelance writer from Charlottesville, VA and a contributor to Sneaker Report. With an unshakable affinity for basketball and all things ’90s, he can be found on Twitter @rchrstphr.

RELATED: The Sneakers Worn by the 10 Most Notable Men’s Singles Champs of the Australian Open
RELATED:
Today in Performance Sneaker History: Agassi Wins the 1995 Australian Open

Andre Agassi and Roger Federer have made incredible marks on the history of the Australian Open, but in recent years, the tournament has been ruled by one man and one man only: Novak Djokovic. The Joker just hasn’t let up in the Melbourne Park tourney, winning the men’s singles in 2011, 2012, and 2013. To get it done, Djokovic wore various adidas Barricade models, including the 6.0 and 7.0.