The Andy Roddick/Marat Safin third round match in the Aussie Open was great tennis. Roddick prevailed in four sets in front of coach Jimmy Connors who returned to Australia for the first time in thirty years.
Connors was the 1974 champ in Melbourne but in the late 1970s and early 1980s the Aussie Open was considered lacking in prestige and few of the top male players made the trip Down Under to contest it. A quick look at the honor roll of champions reflects that: Mark Edmonson, Brian Teacher, and Johan Kriek--hardly household names for the general public--all won titles in that era. Even clay court king Guillermo Vilas was able to nab two crowns on the grass at Kooyong. The tide turned a bit in the mid-1980s and certainly in 1988 when Tennis Australia moved the event to the new Flinders Park (now Melbourne Park) venue and hard courts.