Photo by Moya
Prepare yourselves, I’m about to make a big claim: The Australian Open is the bane of my existence in Melbourne.
Yep, I said it. Yeah sure there’s plenty of other things in Melbourne that are ok (St Kilda Night Markets that charge you $162727 for a bowl of paella, and Chapel Street) but seriously, the Australian Open is hands down my favourite time of the year. What can I say, it’s just the fluorescent blue grounds, the smell of the fresh tennis balls*, and the sweltering sun that makes sweat run down your legs in imitation of Niagara Falls that really gets my heart pumping.
*Not going to lie, I haven’t actually smelt this, but I thought I’d add this in there to really get your senses going.
I’ve been to the tennis 9 times now. Yep. The obsession is real. The thing about the Australian Open that really gets me, is that we actually play host to some of the sporting world’s biggest names; Federer (also known as GOAT – Greatest Of All Time, but don’t even talk to me about his shock exit yesterday, our house is still in uproar over it), Djokovic, Rafa ‘Buy better underwear’ Nadal, Serena ‘I’m more muscular than the average male’ Williams, and Andy ‘I eat strawberries with my fingers’ Murray.
So New York is New York, Sydney got the Olympics, London got the Queen (not you Liz, the other Queen Liz) but what does Melbourne have? Not that much! So, when the tennis arrives, I’m so proud to finally have our beautiful city on display! Sitting in Showcourt 2, there is the most beautiful view of Melbourne city, on display for the players to see. It truly is an amazing view. It also seriously excites me that all these players are walking around OUR city, eating in Crown, going to our Zoo, and experiencing the same hormonal Melbourne shitstorm weather that we have to endure all year round. They are breathing the same air molecules as us….oh god I could be breathing in the same air Nick Kyrgios is breathing in. *squeals*
Another thing about the Australian Open is that IT’S FUN. Wimbledon is the tournament where everyone wears clean, white, crisp gear and pretends to be pretentious, but here in Melbourne, the crowd rocks up in thongs, bikinis and a face full of paint to cheer on their favourites. And the Australian Open embraces that! There’s free face painting, freebies to win, beer overflowing and big water fans that are the holiest invention ever on a hot day. It is truly a day of fun and the atmosphere is amazing. You wonder why the players all say ‘thank you so much to the crowd’ – it’s because our crowd is nuts. We go batshit crazy. People cheer, boo, initiate Mexican waves, and call out inappropriate things to players, and it is so much fun. Case in point; my new boyfriend (he doesn’t know about it yet) Thanasi Kokkinakis was playing, and someone called out ‘You know what they say, big feet, big kokk.’ It was great.
This brings me to my next point; although I love the tennis, I am possibly one of the least patriotic Australians (yes I was born here thanks very much). I dislike Tomic and his arrogance. I think Sam Stosur is fairly hopeless. Lleyton Hewitt has attempted to milk his 2 time Grand Slam career for much too long now. For many years, I’ve had many rants to my TV and Channel 7 for scheduling bloody Stosur and Hewitt on prime time on Rod Laver, whilst pushing the best players like Federer onto bad daytime times. BUT, I have seen the light. I have seen hope in our 2 new players, the ‘Special K’s’, Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis. They are young, they are fun, they have interesting haircuts (Kyrgios looks like a Bengal tiger and Kokkinakis looks like a mushroom) but THEY ALSO HAVE POTENTIAL. For so long I have been waiting for someone to root for in Australian tennis and I think I’ve got my answer. Kyrgios has already made his mark beating Nadal at Wimbledon last year in one of the best matches of his career, and has already progressed to the 4th round this year. He is truly on the way up. He is focused, determined, and emotional. He’s raw, pure, and the Australian public takes to him. He also has personality and is quite attractive to put it mildly. He also selfied with me so that basically boosts my respect for him right up. Follow the hashtag on twitter #NKRising for more. I am so excited to see more of the Special K’s, and hopefully, they are finally the answer to Australian tennis we have all been waiting for.
According to my Dad (so don’t quote me on this), 40% of the people at the Australian Open this year are not Melbournians; so they could be from interstate, or even from around the globe. These are amazing stats, as people are travelling from near and far to be here in Melbourne. This is amazing for our economy, it boosts our tourism, our restaurants, our hotels, our train systems and our shopping even. Having this many people coming into Melbourne is something to celebrate. With this being said, seeing as so many people are making the special trip down to Melbourne for this tournament, IF YOU LIVE IN MELBOURNE, FOR CHRIST SAKE GO TO THE TENNIS!! You are privileged to live in a city where one of the biggest sporting events of the year is held, take advantage of it and be proud to be a Melbournian!
So that’s my plug on the Aus Open. Seriously, they should hire me to be their marketing manager. There’s always something on TV, and although the My Kitchen Rules adds will drive you insane and make you want to punch every single contestant and judge in the face, it is so worth it when you are right in deep in the 5th set of tennis and it is so inTENNISe (intense).
Game, set, match.