The inaugural event was conducted in December 1988.
The introduction of a synthetic court surface at the Australian Open and support tournaments occurred in 1987. It was intended that the 16 man Kooyong event would provide much needed experience on grass courts for young Australians.
15 Australians and a 16 year old Croatian, Goran Ivanisevic contested this event which was won by Pat Cash.
During the period 1989-1993 various formats some including women were tested but it is a fact that the event struggled.
A player driven date change occurred in 1995 resulting in the participation of Stefan Edberg, Pete Sampras, Boris Becker, Michael Chang and Pat Cash.
The event has since become the preferred Australian Open preparation for 90% of the top ranking male tennis players.
An enduring sponsorship by Colonial was enjoyed from 1989–2001 (Colonial Classic).
Colonial’s acquisition by the Commonwealth Bank in 2001 resulted in a name change in 2002 (Commonwealth Bank International).
Iconic Australian car and household insurer AAMI secured the naming rights sponsorship in 2006. Since then the event has consistently achieved record gate and corporate sales and more importantly, delivered a quality product to millions of tennis fans around the world.
The AAMI Classic enjoys approximately 13 hours live, national television coverage via the 7 network and this coverage is now distributed to 16 international outlets.
Past winners include Pat Cash, Thomas Muster, Michael Chang (3), Thomas Enqvist, Andre Agassi (3),Pete Sampras, David Nalbandian, Andy Roddick (3), Roger Federer (2) and our current champion Lleyton Hewitt.
Roger Federer accepts his trophy at the 2006 final
Plenty of entertainment and shopping