As Australia now basks in its summer-time, for tennis fans it’s that time of year again for the country to host one of the big tournaments on the tennis calendar; the Australian Open. Taking place in the popular city of Melbourne, this tennis grand slam sees players make that long trip across the waters hoping to be the one lifting the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup.
With Serb Novak Djokovic, who won this for the past three consecutive years now knocked out, this cup will finally be lifted by fresh hands. I headed to Melbourne to catch the men’s quarter final match. Having been in Australia nearly a year I had yet to visit Melbourne. I stayed right in the heart of the centre, and was really impressed, it’s a really pretty city. The history, culture, and cool tram system are real attractions to return.
I had particularly chose the quarter finals in hope of seeing some big names and the ticket price for this actually wasn’t as bad as you’d think. Unlike with Wimbledon, the tickets are relatively easy to get hold of, head online to Australia’s big ticket provider Ticketek. With Wimbledon already under my belt I couldn’t wait to tick another grand slam off the list.
The day before the match the schedule of play for the 22nd January showcased that I was going to watch the Andy Murray v Roger Federer game. I was ecstatic! I had seen Murray play before but was over the moon to get the chance again, and to see Federer was such a bonus. As a staunch Murray fan, it was imperative to broadcast this and so I got my face painted which you can have done there for free. I had the flag and ‘team andy’ drawn on each side of my face. At $20 the programmes were quite expensive but you have to buy one don’t you?!
Sitting in the Rod Laver arena, found in Melbourne Park, it was such a thrill to be seated a mere distance away from two of the top players in this sport. With the game underway the first two sets with were a bit of a walkover for Federer. The following two sets Murray really come alive, and he played alot more challenging points and fought alot harder to get a set.
However, I think this game just wasn’t meant to be for the British Number One. With his recent recovery from back surgery, it’s likely in a few people’s mind’s that he might not be 100% to win the tournament anyway.
With Melbourne’s heat previously soaring to temperatures up to and over 40 degrees, thankfully it was alot cooler by the time I got there. The weather has been a hot topic of converstaion over this years’ tournament. The ‘extreme heat rule’ suspending play had been made on several occasions. Staff have been left feeling dehydrated and unwell, and players such as Andy Murrays’ older brother Jamie have also suffered from heat exhaustion.
As we now look ahead to the semi and final matches only a stone throw away, there’s an exciting couple of days ahead for tennis fans here. With Stanislas Wawrinka already booking his place in the final, will we see him face World Number One Nadal or his fellow Swiss player Roger Federer?