Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Aussie Open '10

Arriving at Melbourne Park for our annual dose of the Australian Open, Mum, Melissa and I took our seats in Centre Court to watch the opening set of Sharapova and her younger Russian opponent, Kirilenko. The chiffon over her dress and much publicised expensive dress earrings did nothing for Maria's grunt or tennis, and she was we had relocated to watch a more intense match over on Court 2.

Gonzalez, an Open favourite of ours, played Rochus, and was stretched to 4 sets, with a couple of rain delays. Not having a rain interrupted Open for as long as we could remember, Melissa and I huddled under an umbrella during a short, sharp shower, before the sun came blazing out and dried the court off, and play resumed.

Melissa and I joined Mum back in Centre Court, to watch the end of the Clijsters match, as rain stopped all play out on the other outdoor courts. Andy Murray took to court, and played out a fairly easy match to get through to the next round.

As the cold had seeped in, Melissa and I braved it out in the wind on Margaret Court Arena to catch the end of young, tall Aussie hopeful Tomic get through the first round also.

With a new set up this year, to try and separate the "family area" of Garden Square from the Heineken Tent, the oval between Rod Laver Arena and HiSense has been transformed into Grand Slam Oval, with the Garnier replacement Cussons Oasis (with a much smaller goodie bag, and just a freezing pond for dipping your feet in as the treat inside!), all the trade show style set-ups, and the bar area and band stage. Great viewing areas for watching the matches going on inside, we popped in here for a few beers, to watch the Nadal match going on for the night session. With most of the days play postponed due to the weather, we were plotting out our Day 2 to get it all in!

Back for the next day, we spoke to the Box Office after viewing the schedule, and swapped our Centre Court for HiSense Arena, and found our sets for the first 2 sets of Verdasco verses Aussie Ball. At a set apiece, we left the Arena for the sunshine, and worked our way to Court 6 for the postponed Blake game from the day before. Dan joined me, and we watched Blake take the first two sets comfortably, setting up his Round 1 win.

Here, we had a scheduling dilemma/bliss with 3 matches we watched to see all happening at once. Melissa and I found Court 7, and watched a disappointing set from Moya, who went on to lose too easily. We then watched another disappointing set, this time from Tommy Haas, who just didn't seem to be into his match (who must have found his way, winning the next 3 and the match). Gaining entry into Margaret Court, and finding Mum, we then took joy in the energy of Marcos Baghdatis, and his stadium of devoted compatriots. Another Open favourite of ours, Marcos was all heart, and got through to his traditional kissing of the surface and saluting his fans.

Refreshments were taken in the Heiniken area as we watched the start of the Hewitt match of the night session on Centre Court, before Djokovic was on on HiSense. Mum and I got a set in here, before we needed to hit the road and pick up a traveling Katrina from the airport. A very big second day of tennis, so good!

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