Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Australian Open '12: Day 1

A hot day at Melbourne Park was the opening of the Australian Open this year, with a full day of tennis, sun and heat, beer and music.

We all congregated at Margaret Court for the first game, coming from all different directions of Melbourne and Ballarat for our first day of the Open. Taking our seats, with our backs to the morning sun, we watched Aussie Casey Dellacqua complete a classy win for her first round.

Melbourne put on the perfect day, without a cloud in the sky, and the city glistening in the background. Melissa, Mum, Belinda and I plotted out our plan for the day, and at the end of this first game sought shelter from the heat and sun, and took our seats inside Rod Laver Arena for the next match.

A big match up, Australia's Bernard Tomic took on a usual favourite of ours, Spanish Verdasco. Tomic was nowhere in this match for the first 2 sets, as Fernando blitzed in his bright fluro outfit.

Our young countryman started to claw back in the third set, and then took the fourth also, a little easier as he started to hit his shots, and step up to the task. Almost 4 hours in duration, Tomic pulled off what seemed impossible at the beginning, to emerge the winner and move into the next round. He also won over the crowd with his humble and polished post-match interview, as he becomes our most exciting current tennis player.

This match completed Belinda's international Grand Slam of seeing an Aussie play on Centre Court in all 4 tournaments....very jealous!

Back outside, and coming to terms with the time, we grabbed some beer and waited the patient wait to grab seats in Show Court 2 to see most of the second set of Marcos Baghdatis.

The Cypriot struggled in this set, taking it to a tiebreak, but snatching it in the end. Watching the time, we saw this out to the change, and then made our escape to get to the other side of the park and the Heineken Bar for the musical act of the night.

Being slightly disorientated given the shift of the Bar this year, we grabbed a spot to see Tim Freedman and the Half Idle, with a few more beers. The stage was set up with Tim looking into the sun, the lead singer from The Whitlams played a set bulked with tracks from the band, with just a sprinkling of his recent solo tracks.

Half Idle indeed, these 2 lads being Tim's band for the night didn't seem to know The Whitlams' songs and their parts, and he was certainly missing the female additions of his solo release tour. Nevertheless, Tim was chatty with a fairly non-involved crowd, as we were joined by Cass and Flash for a few more drinks.

Around 6 hours of live tennis under our belts for the day, we called it a night, and walked back over to the MCG and the car, with the light fading completely over the Melbourne night sky.

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