I am not a big fan of tennis. Yes, I am aware of the bigwigs like Nadal, Federer, and Djokovic. A close friend of mine would constantly talk about tennis and her plans of watching a live game at the Australian Open. When a chance presented itself for me to watch the Men’s Quarter Finals of the Australian Open 2019, I was hesitant. I was thinking that I would not enjoy the day at all because who goes to a concert when you don’t even know a single song of the band playing.
I was in for a surprise. The day before, we watched some live games on the television. Now this has been really helpful for me to navigate the intricacy and complexity of the game. On the day itself, I met with colleagues and together we ventured to Melbourne Park. Australian Open is one of the four major Grand Slam events and it happens annually in Melbourne. People from all over would flock the arena to watch games, roam around or stalk players.
January in Melbourne is super hot. I wasn’t prepared for the heat but thankful for all the free sunblock from the AO sponsors (Shout out to La Roche Posay). There were lots of people milling around the booths, the courts and the food trucks. The ambiance was lively, cheery but hot — definitely hot.
There are various tickets available, a Ground pass will get you an entrance to the Melbourne Arena and you can catch some practice games. You can also lounge around designated areas with big screen televisions and watch the telecast of the games. If you want to watch a live game, you have to buy a different ticket which are classified as Day or Night. I noticed that all good games especially the headliners were played at night. The Day games are still worth your time depending on the lineup of players.
We were set to watch the Men’s QF which is Tsitsipas vs Agut. Tsitsipas is notorious during the AO as he has beaten none other than Roger Federer. We had good seats, and for the time being, the sun is not a problem.
For a time, I’m cheering for Tsitsipas then for Agut then back to Tsitsipas. I wanted Agut to win because he is sort of an underdog. The match was good ending with 5-7 6-4 4-6 6-7 in favour of Tsitsipas. The crowd was energetic, chanting and cheering. People would raise their flags to cheer their favoured player and the occasional groans when a bad play was made.
We ended the day with a glass of Aperol Spritz and happy to report that after the Australian Open, I am now a tennis convert and now knows more than the popular tennis player names but also how the game was played.